If you are an author, agent or publisher and you already know plenty about ECL, you may wish to skip straight to the survey. Otherwise read on:
Extended collective licensing (ECL) is a form of collective licensing of copyright works under which collecting societies are legally permitted to license the use of works created by (or belonging to) persons who are not members of their society. Last summer the UK Parliament passed primary legislation to legalise extended collective licensing by UK collecting societies. Secondary legislation is expected this autumn: this will set out in detail the regulations under which such schemes will operate.
The libraries and archives sector (or at least, the big, well-funded libraries and archives) want an ECL scheme or schemes that will permit them to digitise printed books and other materials and make them available online. The Government has announced its intention that ECL should be available for mass digitisation projects. Rumours reach me that the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) are preparing to move ahead with licensing such projects as soon as the law allows.
These projects will sweep up the works of foreign as well as British authors, illustrators, photographers, etc.
[More at Action on Authors' Rights]