PRS and Collecting Societies

copyright maze

Technological advances are generating huge opportunities for improved public access to library, archive and museum collections.

ALMA-UK members are working in partnership to help public collections navigate the complex legal landscape governing artist copyright and the protection of intellectual property rights.

Led by the Museums, Libraries and Archives Council and the Scottish Library and Information Council, ALMA-UK members have joined together to negotiate licences with Performing Rights Societies (PRS) and collecting societies for the public performance of music in libraries.

Uses include live performances or recorded performances such as background music.

Members are consulting with copyright expert groups in the archives, libraries and museums sector, including the Libraries and Archives Copyright Alliance (LACA) and The British Library, to address licencing concerns raised by three collecting societies – PRS for Music, Phonographic Performance Ltd and The Motion Picture Licensing Company.

In November 2010, ALMA-UK’s library members jointly published an Information Guide, which sets out the circumstances under which public libraries in the United Kingdom may need to purchase a licence or licences for music, or film related public performances. Download the Information Guide here and from member websites: