Copyright deal gets top marks

New copyright agreements are set to save schools time and money, the government says.

Schools and local authorities across England will collectively save around £4 million after a copyright deal was struck for rights to the use of music in schools, the government confirmed on 27 March.

Previously, licences for the use of music had to be bought individually by schools and local authorities, often involving costly and time-consuming negotiations. Now the government has agreed a deal to hold the copyright licences centrally, so that schools no longer have to apply for them independently.

The copyright licences will cover a wide variety of uses of music, including the recording of pupils’ performances on CD and DVD, school discos, radios in the staffroom and even holding music for telephones.

The latest deals follow previous agreements over the past two years on rights to use films, TV shows and newspapers in schools. The total potential savings for schools and councils as a result of dealing with copyright centrally will be up to £16.5 million per year.

Jo Warner-Howard, Director of Education at the Copyright Licensing Agency, said: “The bottom line is that by simplifying copyright licensing in schools, the substantial administrative savings will directly benefit schools whilst rewarding the crucial role of creative content in school life.”

Palmers can provide comprehensive advice on all aspects of copyright, including in relation to copyright-exempt material. Schools may also find it helpful to put in place a plagiarism policy, to help raise awareness of this growing problem and help pupils to avoid infringing others’ work. For more information, please visit our website or contact BJ Chong.