[A2k] Copyright deals will cut red tape and save schools £6.5 million (in England)

Teresa Hackett teresa.hackett at eifl.net
Thu Mar 27 03:33:34 PDT 2014


The government announces copyright licence deals for schools.

Schools across England will save more than £6.5 million after the
government struck deals with licensing companies for shared rights to
use films, newspapers and television shows in classrooms.

The licences previously had to be bought individually by schools and
local authorities, often resulting in expensive and time-consuming

Now the Department for Education has reached agreements so that from
next month all state schools in England will be automatically covered
for these licences, potentially saving more than £6.5 million.

The deals have been struck with:

the Educational Recording Agency (ERA), which allows schools to use
programmes from BBC, ITV and other British television channels in
Filmbank, which allows schools to show pupils top Hollywood, Bollywood
and independent films
the Motion Picture Licensing Company (MPLC), which gives schools
access to movies and programmes created by more than 400 film and
television producers and distributers
the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which allows schools to use newspaper
and magazine cuttings in lessons

Schools Minister David Laws said:

We are committed to reducing costs and unnecessary red tape for
schools. These new licences will allow schools to focus their
resources further on providing an excellent education for young

Jo Warner-Howard, head of education at the Copyright Licensing Agency, said:

Schools were telling us that they wanted us to make licensing simpler
and easier and we listened to them. The change will relieve local
authorities and academies of the responsibility for administration of

The Department for Education is committed to reducing the
administrative burden on teachers to free them up to teach. The
department has:

cut the volume of unnecessary guidance issued to schools by 75%,
equating to the removal of more than 21,000 website pages
scrapped the burdensome self-evaluation forms for school inspections
simplified complex financial school budget restrictions

A streamlined inspection framework has also been introduced. Neither
the department nor Ofsted now expect teachers to produce written
lesson plans for every lesson.

This announcement follows the government's recommendations in the
Hargreaves Review to simplify the licensing process for copyright
users in the digital age.

Notes to editors

The licences apply to all state schools, including local authority
maintained schools, academies, and other types of schools such as
pupil referral units (PRUs) and special schools.

The savings of moving to paying for the ERA, Filmbank and MPLC
licenses centrally is estimated by the Department for Education to be
£6.73 million in the 2014 to 2015 financial year. These savings are
made up of the discounts negotiated on the cost of the licenses
themselves and the savings in administrative costs of local
authorities and schools, who previously negotiated deals themselves.

The central licences that have been in existence since April 2013 are
the Copyright Licensing Agency licence, which gives schools the right
to photocopy books, magazines and journals, make digital copies by
scanning or re-typing for distribution to pupils, parents, teachers or
governors, and make copies of content from digital material including
CD ROMs, electronic workbooks, online journals and included websites;
and the School Printed Music Licence, which covers the copying of a
school's sheet music for curricular and extra-curricular school
activities, making arrangements of musical works and distributing
licensed copies to school members.

The Hargreaves Review was an independent review commissioned by the
Prime Minister in November 2010 to look at how the intellectual
property framework supports growth and innovation. Chaired by
Professor Ian Hargreaves and assisted by a panel of experts, the
review reported to government in May 2011 making recommendations for
government. This included a recommendation to simplify the licensing
process for copyright users in the digital age. Further details about
the review can be found on the Independent Review of Intellectual
Property and Growth's website.

In recent years the government has consulted the education sector over
ways in which the statutory underpinning of the ERA Licence might be
changed in ways that would allow all the educational uses currently
licensed under the separate ERA and ERA Plus Licences to be brought
together within a single licensing scheme. The new regulations
(covering changes to s35 and paragraph 6 Schedule 2 CDPA 1988) are
expected to be implemented from 1 April 2014. In anticipation of this,
ERA will launch a new single licensing scheme from 1 April 2014. This
will ensure that all licensed schools are able to make available
ERA-licensed resources to students when at school or online when
undertaking school work at home.


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