Industry News

PLS celebrates 40 years in publishing

By Sorcha Mondon

9 Sep 2021

The Publishers' Licensing Services celebrates their 40 year anniversary this month alongside the milestone of distributing £500m in collective licensing fees to publishers.

PLS is celebrating 40 years in publishing this month, commemorating its founding in September 1981. The Publishers' Licensing Services will be marking the occasion with a publication of a history of the organisation's origins and launch alongside the PPA, the Publishers Association, the Association of Learned and Professional Society Publishers - who continue to direct it in 2021.

The associations created PLS to coordinate appropriate remuneration for book, journal and magazine publishers for the copying of extracts of their content, on a collective licensing basis. Since 1981, PLS has distributed more than £500m to well over 4,000 mandating publishers. Annual distributions have exceeded £30m every year since 2011 and reached a record £38.6m in 2020, with PLS able to allocate and pay nearly 99% of revenues collected to the correct rights holders of content that is copied.

PLS Chief Executive Sarah Faulder said: “We are thrilled to be celebrating 40 years of service in publishing. The industry has changed dramatically since we started our work, but our core responsibility to help publishers secure proper reward for the secondary use of their content remains just as important today as it was in 1981. We are proud to have distributed more than half a billion pounds in our first 40 years—money that continues to sustain publishing businesses, create jobs and power innovation.”


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