Law
Extended Collective Licence Makes it Possible
Last updated: 01/11/2016

The extended collective licence (ECL) system is a typical Nordic way of finding copyright solutions to otherwise difficult situations where it is not feasible to obtain individual authorizations from all rights holders.

A simplified licensing solution

The fact is that it is more or less impossible for a company to have control over what each individual employee may need to copy and share at work and, additionally, before any such use occurs, seek permission directly from authors and publishers all over the world to use the material.
To meet the need for simplified licensing solutions, a system of so-called extended collective licence provisions (ECL) are provided for in the Swedish Copyright Act.
”Extended collective license” means just what it says, namely, provisions in the law giving an extended effect to the clauses in a collective agreement in specific areas of the copyright field. The extended effect applies to rights owners who are not members of the contracting organisation.

When it is not feasible to obtain individual authorizations

In response to the need authors and publishers have established Reproduction Rights Organizations (RROs) to act as intermediaries to facilitate the necessary copyright clearance. RROs license the reproduction and dissemination of material protected by copyright whenever it is impracticable or impossible for rights holders to act individually.
The members of Bonus Copyright Access are all examples of organizations that are authorized to enter into agreements under the ECL-provisions. Bonus Copyright Access has been mandated from its members to manage their rights collectively.
The system of giving extended effect to a collective agreement, for example, such an agreement as the Workplace licence, is a typical Nordic way of finding copyright solutions to otherwise difficult situations where it is not feasible to obtain individual authorizations from all rights holders.
The Workplace Licence allows employees to copy and disseminate from literary works, works of fine art and photographs, and compilations such as catalogues, tables and other similar Swedish and non-Swedish works, e.g. from books, scientific articles, newspapers, digital publications, websites and more.
Without a licence from Bonus Copyright Access, individual permissions are required before every and each copying and sharing of protected material. Thereto comes price negotiations for every single use.
More about ECL
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