Cambridge Centre for the study of Western Esotericism

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One Book and then ….

   Unlimited photocopies

Educational copyright is under threat.

Photocopying helps universities financially. They can buy one copy of a useful book and then copy extracts for their students.  These are used on courses, often for years, and  given to large numbers of students. This is of course a good thing. However, it does mean that authors loose out on royalties from book sales.

Till now authors in the UK have received royalties for these photocopies collected and distributed by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society  but now this copyright  is under threat from the Government’s planned changes to educational copyright.

The recent proposals made in the Hargreaves Review of Intellectual Property and Growth suggest the removal of the ability to license for educational use, if implemented this could effectively eradicate income for educational writers  who rely on the money they receive from copyright licenses.

All Party Parliamentary Writers Group

(see a list of their members)

They are considering copyright legislation and they would like to hear from authors who do not wish to see this change made.

I was kindly invited to a reception given by this group at the House of Lords and talked with members of both Houses. Some said they were ‘quietly confident’ that the proposals could be successfully defeated, which although comforting did not entirely convince me.  I also heard the view that in ‘difficult times we must be fair to universities’  which was worrying.

Sending an email

If you are a writer who does not want this proposal to go through, then it is worth emailing the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group and others who are working hard to make sure educational copyright is retained. Some decision may be made on this during this month or in September, so don’t delay!

Please send with ‘educational copyright’ in the subject line to:

John Whittingdale MP 

Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Writers Group 

with copies to the following organisations who are working to protect writers, they will be glad to hear from you:

Society of Authors

Intellectual Property Rights – Copyright  

any educational writers you know who’d like to email

and to:


Ed Vaizey Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries


In Janet Anderson’s interview with Ed Vaizey – Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries  – he says:

I do take intellectual property rights very seriously, and am keen to enforce them.  I think there is a view that the content of a book or a CD is somehow intangible, and so not property in the way that this glass or this coffee cup is property.  But if somebody walked into this interview and started taking pictures off the wall, we’d call the police.

Read more at:

The Minister for Culture, Communications and Creative Industries talks to Janet Anderson about PLR, libraries and why he asked David Cameron for the job?

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