SpicyIP Tidbit: ALCS August Distribution

In the UK, the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society is an organization run and owned by writers that collects money due to its members from the use of their works, distributes the money collected, organizes campaigns and raises awareness about issues that affect writers. It has a membership of over 85,000 writers and has so far paid out £300 million to writers. 
Distribution of collections takes place twice a year. Recently, as IP Finance reports, the ALCS announced its ‘August Distribution’ where the Society is distributing £7.5 million to more than 21,000 Members. This works out to £370 per member. Though this is far from the earnings of the world’s commercially successful writers, the ability to track and collect money for use of copyrighted works is an added benefit for writers who may not have the capacity to monitor such transactions. 
The Society takes a commission of 9.5% plus an additional 0.25% which goes towards the ALCS ‘Support and Sponsorship’ Fund. The 9.5% commission is used for the day to day operations of the organization. The August Distribution also has details of type of work, where the work has been used and how the work has been used. 
The recent unionizing of singers, authors and composers in India blogged about here and here, could ensure not only better bargaining capacity but also efficient collection and distribution of royalties, as well as better representation and awareness building.

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