Republished with permission from the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)

Many IFRRO members are developing and adapting licences to provide access for students, teachers and others working from home or unable to access resources because of library and business closures during the pandemic. Although generally limited in time to the period of the pandemic, most of these initiatives are made available at no additional cost to the licensee.

Some IFRRO members have also found innovative ways to promote reading and access to creative content for those at home in self-isolation, often working in collaboration with stakeholders such as authors, publishers and visual artists.

Others still are working with government to develop public health messages for vulnerable communities.

And most importantly, IFRRO members are supporting authors, publishers and visual artists who are experiencing a loss of income due to the closure of bookshops, museums and galleries, the cancellation of events such as writers’ festivals and the uncertain economic environment.

Following is a cross section of some of the initiatives.

Access to research, learning and teaching materials

In Canada, Access Copyright and the Association of Canadian Publishers have jointly developed Read Aloud Canadian Stories, which enables educators and librarians to hold online story time for children at home.  Also in Canada, Copibec has extended the print and digital copying limits for all of its educational licences from 15% to 35% of books, journals and periodicals. Copibec are also offering transactional licences for those requiring more of a publication than the increased percentage allows.

In the Czech Republic, DILIA and the National Library have negotiated an agreement that allows university students and teachers free online access to the digital library of the National Library and Public Libraries colleges.

In DenmarkCopydan has extended their license with universities and colleges to enable the making of digital copies of the whole of out of commerce Danish works. They are also working with the Danish Ministry of Culture and University of Copenhagen to develop a flexible technical solution to enable the remote testing of 7000 university applicants.

In Germany, VG Musikedition has extended its existing license agreements with churches to enable songs and lyrics to be displayed during the live streaming of church services.

In NorwayKopinor, to enable pupils and students have free access to all books made available through the National Library’s online catalogue.

In the USA, through the Education Continuity License CCC is enabling innovative uses of copyright content to support distance learning by offering no cost licenses to educators, parents and others to make immediate additional uses of content they have lawfully acquired.

In the UKThe Education Platform is available to all schools with a CLA Education License and provides access to digital versions of books, allowing teachers to copy and share parts of those books with their students studying at home. Also in the UK, teachers can access digital newspaper clippings to share with students studying at home, through the NLA Newspapers for schools licence.

STM has worked with its scientific publisher members to provide free access to relevant peer reviewed publications to ensure that research and data quickly reaches the widest possible audiences.

A number of IFRRO members have also compiled information about resources that have been made freely available for students and teachers, such as KopinorSTM and the International Publishers Association.

Promoting Reading

In Greece, OSDEL has initiated the We stay home, we travel with a book campaign to promote the book as a source of joy, knowledge and strength in the current crisis.

In Georgia, the Georgian Copyright Association (GCA) has launched a series of video podcasts in which local intellectuals and creators speak about literature, art, and history.

The Federation of European Publishers is promoting the #EuropeReadsAtHome campaign, encouraging people to post a picture of the book they are reading, a picture of themselves reading, or something else related to reading.

Supporting vulnerable communities

In Zambia, ZARRSO is working with the Ministry of Health and local creators to develop posters and broadcasts in indigenous languages. The posters and broadcasts will be used in remote parts of the country to communicate health messages about the coronavirus.

Support for creators

Many members are bringing distributions forward, allocating additional funds or establishing emergency or crisis packages and campaigning for government support for creators:

  • In Algeria, ONDA has been authorised by the government to distribute government funding to affected creators,
  • In AustraliaCopyright Agency has established a dedicated Emergency Action Fund for creators, and is granting additional funds through its Cultural Fund to support creators both directly and through projects such as virtual writers’ festivals and exhibition openings,
  • In AustraliaCopyright Agency has established a dedicated Emergency Action Fund for creators, and is granting additional funds through its Cultural Fund to support creators both directly and through projects such as virtual writers’ festivals and exhibition openings,
  • In ColombiaCDR has made available additional funds to be distributed among their members,
  • In Côte d’Ivoire, BURIDA has established a fund to assist creators that are taken ill with the coronavirus,
  • In FranceADAGP is advancing its payment schedule, and also honouring grants to artists even for events that have been cancelled, as is SOFIA which is also encouraging the organisers of those events and festivals to pay the authors regardless of the cancellation.
  • In ItalySIAE have allocated €110 million to relief efforts, comprised of a  €60 million Extraordinary Support Fund to support distributions over the next two years, and a €50 million fund to provide interest free loans to members in cashflow difficulties caused by the lock down. In addition, 2500 food packages for those in need have been distributed,
  • In Spain, VEGAP has compiled a guide to public financial support initiatives for visual arts creators, and CEDRO is advancing the payment of royalties to support creators,
  • In Sweden, BUS has allocated crisis packages to affected creators,
  • In the U.S., the National Press Photographers Association has set up a relief fund for photographers affected by the crisis.
  • In the UK, ALCS has contributed to The Authors’ Emergency Fund to support affected writers,
  • IFRRO members in Europe are also supporting an open letter and petition asking the EU Commission and EU Member States to support the cultural and creative sectors affected by the COVID-19 crisis.



Author: CCC

A pioneer in voluntary collective licensing, CCC (Copyright Clearance Center) helps organizations integrate, access, and share information through licensing, content, software, and professional services. With expertise in copyright, information management, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, CCC and its subsidiary RightsDirect collaborate with stakeholders to design and deliver innovative information solutions that power decision-making by harnessing information from a wide variety of data sources and content assets.
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