The Extended Collective Licence system
Last updated: 08/18/2017

The extended collective licence system in the Swedish Copyright Act is a solution for facilitating the licensing of copyright.
To meet the need for a simplified way of obtaining licences, for instance, in situations where it is not feasible to obtain individual authoriations from all rightholders, a system of so-called extended collective licence (ECL) provisions is provided for in the Copyright Act.

Relevant provisions in the Copyright Act

The provisions on extended collective licences in Article 42 a, 42 b, 42 c and 42 h in the Swedish Copyright Act are relevant when licensing reproduction rights to the educational sector and to the workplace sector.
  • Article 42 a is a common provision concerning the extended effect of collective licences.
  • Article 42 b concerns the making of copies at places of work.
  • Article 42 c concerns the making of copies for educational purposes.
  • Article 42 h is a special extended collective licence allowing the parties to enter into agreements under which collective licences have extended effect in areas other than those specified in the Act.

The meaning of ECL

Under these provisions, agreements on the exploitation of works may be entered into with an organization representing a substantial number of authors of a certain type of works which are used in Sweden within the specified field. By entering into such an agreement, a user can also acquire the right to exploit works by authors not represented by the organization. The ECL-agreement also covers the use of works by foreign rightholders.
”Extended collective licence” means just what it says, namely provisions in the law giving an extended effect to clauses in a collective agreement to have an effect also for rightholders who are not members of the negotiating organization; rightholders also referred to as ”outsiders”.

Guarantees for the "outsiders"

The fundamental idea of ECL is that the party representing the rightholders is representative of all rightholders of the type of works included in the licence agreement – even the "outsiders".
When comes to distribution of remuneration, the law requires that non-members and members are treated equally. Equal treatment does not guarantee individual remuneration; some royalties are used for collective purposes.
However, there are some important guarantees for outsiders. Non-represented right holders have a right to individual remuneration on the basis of the law and non-represented rightholders have also a possibility of prohibiting the use of their works.

Representative organizations

The members of Bonus Copyright Access are all examples of organizations that are authorised to enter into agreements under the ECL provisions as they all comprise a substantial number of rightholders of a certain type of works which are used in Sweden.
Bonus Copyright Access is a society that has the mandate from its member organizations to licence reproduction rights collectively.
Article 42 a, b, c, h §§ (ECL provisions)
More about the legal technique called Extended Collective Licence (ECL)