Definition Edit

Extended collective licensing (ECL) is a proposed statutory framework, which can be used to authorize mass digitalization projects on terms set forth by the parties under government supervision. Under this model, licenses are issued and administered by collective management organizations (CMOs) representing copyright owners in particular categories of works.

Overview Edit

For several decades, the Nordic countries have maintained ECL regimes, which allow CMOs to license numerous works within a specific field of use, including works owned by rightsholders who are not members of the organization. While there is some variety in these provisions, they commonly provide ECL for activities such as broadcasting and cable retransmission, reproduction for educational purposes, reproduction for internal uses by businesses and other organizations, and uses by libraries, archives, and museums. ECL thus is often employed to facilitate uses that are considered socially beneficial but for which the costs of obtaining rights on an individual basis may be prohibitively high. Under an ECL system, representatives of copyright owners and representatives of users negotiate terms that are binding on all members of the group by operation of law (e.g., all textbook publishers), unless a particular copyright owner opts out. A CMO authorized by the government collects the licensing fee and administers payments. It is not quite compulsory licensing in that the parties (rather than the government) negotiate the rates, but it requires a legislative framework and often involves some degree of government oversight.

Three key U.S. trading partners — France, Germany, and the United Kingdom — have adopted versions of ECL to allow for digitization of copyrighted works for certain purposes.

Source Edit

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