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It is important that national laws transposing Article 5 of the DSM Directive support licensing solutions under the illustration for teaching exception and do not close off the possibility for authors, publishers and educational establishments to be able to benefit from them. 

Collective management organisations in the text and image sector, known as Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs), collectively manage the licensing of reproduction rights on behalf of authors and publishers when it is impracticable for them to act individually. RROs collect and distribute to authors and publishers the royalties due for uses of their works.*

As the examples below illustrate, the different licensing systems used by RROs have all brought benefits to both educational establishments and their teachers and pupils/students as well as the authors and publishers, whose works they copy and use.  

*In 2018, RROs collected and distributed about 1 billion euros to rightsholders worldwide.

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Collective licensing solutions in the field of education

Collective management systems - long-established in most EU Member States - have provided flexible licensing solutions (including cross-border) and legal certainty for users in adapting to new digital uses in education for over fifteen years.

Collective licences are the outcome of negotiations, generally between the licensor (RRO) and organisations with significant bargaining power such as those representing the education sector, e.g., the Ministry of Education, or federation of universities or schools.

Licensing conditions are therefore adapted to the specific needs of the sector and are usually adapted for the different levels of education (primary, secondary, or higher education), which have different teaching methods.

A licence usually defines and covers a wide range of uses (scanning, in classroom representation, whiteboard, posting on virtual learning environments, exams, distance learning, cross border uses…). Licences have been adapted over the years, evolving with technology and educational practices, so they continue to meet the needs of the users. 

How does collective management provide solutions?









Work books






Virtual learning environments


Distance learning


Email distribution


Use in presentation






Digital to digital copying


Digital to print copying



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Licence fees

Payments to authors, publishers and visual artists

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Diverse, quality

innovative educational content

Advantages of collective licensing

Allows teachers to draw upon extracts of a variety of quality, reliable resources and share with their students, including digitally, in the knowledge that they are fully complying with the law

Provides a one-stop shop for educational establishments to get authorisation to use a variety of quality content for their students for a relatively small fee per student (e.g., the price of a couple of cups of coffee) 

Easily available
Adapted to users’ needs

Ensures that authors of works used and the publishers that invest in those works are remunerated for their work and continue providing quality, innovative content, to the benefit of students

Supporting the creative ecosystem
Collective licensing approaches provided by IFRRO’s RRO members

Collective licensing has been expanding across Europe over the years and continues to develop. 38 RROs are now established providing licences in all but one EU Member State (Malta).

This well-established framework of RROs already licenses the use of copyright content in education, most of them, including developing RROs, are providing solutions for the licensing of digital uses.

Each year these organisations, which operate in large and small countries and in different legal systems, return fees to authors and publishers enabling those authors and publishers to continue to produce high quality content. 

Below are just a few examples of how licences provided by IFRRO’s RRO members are benefiting educational establishments and their students / pupils, as well as authors and publishers.

More details about the various educational licences being offered can be found on national RRO websites, which can be located via IFRRO’s website ( A search function allows users to search for RROs by country (see here).   

Collective licensing approaches

The different legal systems in Europe and around the world, as well as the choices made by authors and publishers, have resulted in different licensing approaches being used by RROs. The approaches used by IFRRO’s RRO members can be summarised within the following main categories, although these models are also sometimes combined:

 Voluntary collective licensing:

The RRO issues licences to copy or use protected material on behalf of those rightholders who have mandated it to act on their behalf. Rightholders can choose to exclude work(s) from a licence.    

Licences can cover published works not only from the country in question but also from all around the world, by virtue of the mandates received directly from authors and / or publishers and the bilateral agreements with RROs in Europe and the rest of the world.

The portion of the works that can be copied under licensing agreements varies from country to country (although it is generally around 10-20%).

Likewise, the fees applied (fixed either as a price per page or per student, or set as a lump sum) also vary, taking into account the specific local circumstances, as well as the usage information supplied.

For further information about collective licensing, including best practice licensing in the field of education, see the International Publishers Association’s (IPA) November 2019 publication on “The Role of Collective Licensing”, which was authored by Olav Stokkmo, an independent consultant in copyright and collective rights management, who was previously IFRRO’s CEO



RRO: Reprobel (see details in English here)


Licensing system: Statutory (legal) licence (articles XI.240-242 Code of Economic Law), with a Royal Decree of 31 July 2017 setting the tariffs per pupil/student/researcher)


Reprobel’s role: The remunerated exception administered by Reprobel allows some 3 million pupils and students from across Belgium (Flanders, Wallonia, Brussels and the German speaking part of the country) to benefit from photocopies, prints, scans, digital copies and digital distribution of all categories of Belgian and foreign copyrighted works (educational, scientific, professional, fiction, non-fiction, journalistic, photographical or other visual, audiovisual and sound, excluding sheet music however) over a secure network within the limits of the law. Reprobel (representing authors and publishers) has entered into a mandate agreement with Auvibel for the distribution of the remunerations to rightsholders of audiovisual and sound works. The overall remuneration per annum amounts to around 5 million euros per year.


Further information:



Kurt Van Damme, Management (Private sector, Legal & International)


RRO: Copydan Writing (see details in English here)

Licensing system: Voluntary - Extended collective licensing (Danish Copyright Act article 13 ctr article 50 (1)).


Copydan Writing’s role: Copydan Writing licences enable reprographic and digital uses of publications (e.g., books, journals, Internet, newspapers, music books) for 1.3 million pupils and students in Denmark from public and private schools, high schools, higher education etc. The licences generate 44 million euros per year for more than 75,000 creators and publishers around the world.

Further information:

  • University licence (English version): see here

  • Guidelines about the University licence (English version): see here


Martin Kyst, Head of Legal, Communication and contract negotiation

Copydan Writing:   


RRO: Kopiosto (see details in English here)


Licensing system: Voluntary - Extended collective licensing (Copyright Act (Section 26) – see here for details)


Kopiosto’s role:  Kopiosto licences enable the copying of excerpts from Finnish and foreign publications (such as books, newspapers, magazines, sheet music and other printed publications, and freely available online images, photos and text materials) by around 1.5 million pupils and students in Finland,  generating around 12.8 million euros each year for authors and publishers.

Further information:

  • For details (in English) about the licence for different school levels, see here

  • For details (in English) about the licence for universities, see here, for the specific licence terms (see here) and the explanatory brochure, see here



Kirsi Salmela, Licensing Manager,



RRO: CFC - Centre français d’exploitation du droit de copies (see details here)

Licensing system: combination of voluntary (obligatory collective management) for reprography in education (Art L122-10 CPI), with digital uses managed under a legal licence combined with voluntary licensing Art L122-5-3-e


CFC’s role: Licences and the remunerated exception administered by CFC allow 16 million pupils and students (from kindergarten to higher and further education) to benefit from reprographic and digital uses from an unlimited repertoire (French and foreign works), including distance learning, while generating 27 million euros to remunerate authors and publishers of 90,000 books and periodicals to support the creation of new material.

Further information:

  • Frequently Asked Questions document (in French): see here


Sandra Chastanet, Director for Rightsholders & International Relations, CFC


RRO: VG WORT – German Collective Management Organisation of Authors and Publishers (see details here)


Licensing system: Statutory (legal) licences (§§ 60a – 60h German Copyright Act) as well as contractual voluntary licences for full-length press articles, sheet music and works exclusively suitable, intended and labelled for teaching in schools (i.e., mainly school books). For uses of press articles and school books, the rights are granted separately by the rightsholders, represented by the PMG Presse Monitor GmbH and the German association of educational publishers. However, legal licences and contractual licences are dealt with in the same contract concluded with the German Länder (federal states) referred to below.


VG WORT’s role: VG WORT collected for its authors and publishers a sum of 3.9 million euros in 2019 for reproduction and distribution of text works in schools. For making available of works for non-commercial teaching purposes in schools, all involved CMOs - together with the PMG Presse Monitor GmbH, and the German Länder - negotiated a lump sum payment amounting to 5 million euros for uses in 2019. For reproduction of text and image works in universities and for scientific research, VG WORT and VG Bild-Kunst jointly collected about 2.6 million euros in 2019.


11.7 million pupils and 2.9 million students as well as their teachers and examiners benefit from the provisions allowing uses of copyrighted works for educational and scientific purposes.


Further information:

  • For details about tariffs for reproduction in higher education institutions, see here

  • For details about management of compensation claims, including the contract with the Länder and other agreements, see here

  • For details about remuneration claims for intranet use in schools, see here



Sabine Richly

Christian Beyer


RRO: OSDEL - Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works (see details here)

Licensing system: Voluntary licensing (in accordance with Law 2121/1993)


OSDEL’s role: Under agreements with five Universities (in both Greece and Cyprus) an average of around 60,000 students per year benefit from reprographic or digital use of academic and educational books and articles under the “distance learning licence”, which generates around 350,000 euros for authors and publishers.

Further information:

  • For further details about the licence (in Greek), see here  


George Andrew Zannos, General Manager OSDEL

Filon Filonos, Head of Licensing Department OSDEL


RRO: SAZOR – Slovenian Organisation of Authors and Publishers for Reproduction Rights (see details here

Licensing system: Voluntary (obligatory collective management) (Slovenian Law on Collective Management of Copyright and Related Rights Article 9/3 (see here)


SAZOR’s role: since 2016, around 300,000 pupils a year in all Slovenian kindergartens, primary and secondary schools have benefited from photocopies of literary, scientific and journalistic works from SAZOR’s extensive repertoire, which have enriched their curriculum. The licences have generated around half a million euros per year for authors and publishers, as well as enabling the education of thousands of potential new creators among the students. 

Further information:

  • The licence is granted via a Collective Agreement that SAZOR concluded with Slovenian schools under the supervision of the Ministry of Education on August 1, 2016 (here)


SAZOR Directors: Luka Novak

and Rudi Zaman


RRO: CEDRO (see details here)

Licensing system: combination of a legal licence for universities and public research bodies (Art. 32.4 of Royal Decree 1/1996 see here) and voluntary licences for schools and other educational establishments for uses not covered by the legal licence or the very narrow limitation for the benefit of formal education teaching staff in establishments within the Spanish educational system (which excludes text books, university manuals or similar publications)


CEDRO’s role: The agreements between Crue (representing Spanish universities) and CEDRO / VEGAP (representing visual artists) allow students across Spain to benefit from reprographic or digital uses of printed or printable works or publications, such as books and journals (although some types of works are excluded, such as musical scores and isolated visual arts). This results in the collection of around 3 million euros per year for authors, publishers and visual artists. CEDRO’s voluntary licences allow uses, both reprographic and digital, of extracts from over 20 million books, magazines and newspapers from Spanish and international authors and publishers

Further information:

  • For details of CEDRO’s licences (including terms and conditions and tariffs): for primary schools, see here; for pre-university education, see here; and for language schools, see here


Javier Díaz de Olarte, Head of Legal Department, CEDRO: 


RRO: Bonus Copyright Access (see details in English here)

Licensing system: Voluntary - Extended Collective Licensing (in accordance with the Swedish Copyright Act)

BCA’s role: All universities and higher education institutions in Sweden, as well as schools and pre-schools across the country, benefit from BCA licences, which permit analogue and digital copying and sharing of copyright protected material from Swedish and non-Swedish works (e.g., books, teaching materials, the press, digital publications, websites etc.). The licenses for the school sector and universities/higher education generated around 240 million Swedish krona (SEK) (over 23 million euros) last year

Further information:

  • For details (in English) about schools and higher education institutions’ licences, the text of the licences and guidance brochures for teachers and pupils/students, see here



RRO: Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) (see details here)

Licensing system: Voluntary licensing (in accordance with the UK Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988

CLA’s role: All schools and universities in the UK, as well as most further education colleges benefit from CLA’s education licences, which allow extracts from published works (from both within and outside the UK) to be copied, including print and digital books, journals and magazines, including digital products. The licences generate around 46.7 million euros per year for authors and publishers and visual creators.

Further information:

  • For details of the CLA licence for schools, including pricing, and user guidelines see here

  • For details of how to check permissions and an explanatory video, see here

  • For details of the CLA licence for higher education (and the optional Digital Content Store, a web-based platform combining a searchable repository of digitised book and journal extracts with an online workflow management tool) see here.


Madeleine Pow-Jones, Policy and International Relations Manager, CLA:

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