Creators’ Rights

All teachers, tutors and students rely on the work of others as a basis for their learning. In class we use books and audiovisual materials to ensure we can explore subjects in as much detail as possible.

Most publishers and creators are happy to allow the use of limited parts of their work in a properly accredited educational organisation, such as the Workers’ Educational Association. Educational organisations also pay fees to cover their use of materials.

It’s important to protect the rights of the creators and owners of the work we are using, and make sure they get a fair return for the use of their work. There are several mechanisms in place to enable this.

Public Lending Right

If you visit your local, school or college library and borrow any book still in copyright, the author is eligible for a payment under Public Lending Right. You have to actually borrow the book – if you just read it at the library, the author doesn’t receive anything, because your use is not recorded. Find out more here.

Payments for Photocopying

If you make a photocopy of part of the book at the library, the author can also receive a payment from the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society. Find out more here.

PLR and ALCS form an important part of many British authors’ incomes, and enable readers to support writers without having to buy all their books.

Performing Rights

The Performing Rights Society collects payments for use of music and audio-visual materials and passes these on to the owners.


If you buy a new book, the writer will usually receive a percentage of the price you pay for it. (This doesn’t apply if you buy a secondhand book.) The position for visual work and games is roughly the same – the original creator, or the owner of the rights in the original idea, will get a percentage of the money their work helps to earn.

Buying material used on the course

If you want to see all of a title we’ve discussed or seen a clip from, you may want to buy your own copy. You’ll find details on the clip lists or reading/viewing lists. In most  cases, your local library or a local retailer will be able to help you. If you find you need more information, contact Helen.  In some cases, you may have to order a DVD or book from Japan or the USA, via an online retailer or by mail order.


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