If you wish to use copyright material, you usually need to get permission from its owner. You can do this directly with the owner, or through a certain type of an intermediary organisation. These organisations are known under various terms, including:
- licensing bodies
- collecting societies
- collective management organisations
What is the role of collecting societies?
They offer licences for the use of copyright work and specialise in certain areas of copyright, including:
- printed material, such as in books and journals
- artistic works and characters
- broadcast material, including terrestrial or satellite broadcasts
- film, eg the showing of a film in public places, cable retransmission and certain uses of music videos
Collecting societies can:
- agree licences with users on behalf of owners
- collect any royalties the owners are owed
- offer a blanket licence for all the works by owners it represents in some cases - eg for music to be played in a shop or restaurant
For more information, see GOV.UK's guide on licensing bodies and collecting societies.