It’s always the case, isn’t it, that when you ask someone to do something they actually have to do but don’t want to, the excuses go into overdrive. However, staff in our schools, despite being amongst the busiest people in the nation’s workforce, somehow find the time to submit an enormous amount of data to CLA every term. This amounts to tens of thousands of pieces of data, representing many hundreds of thousands of pages copied or web pages re-used. In fact, over the last four years schools have provided 103,000 pieces of paper data and just over 50,000 web page imprints. Luckily, our procedures, through which they submit the data are very simple to carry out, but it still takes time
By and large, folk who work in schools want to be there and are interested in what they do; they want to get it right. They are answerable to an ever-increasing amount of legislation that pours in on a regular basis, from the DfE, Ofsted, local authorities, MATs and more. The fact they produce so much for us is a testament to their understanding of the licensing system, why it was invoked all those years ago, and the importance of intellectual property to those who created it – the rights holders.
One or two simple facts underline the context of the work of CLA in schools:
The licensing system arrived because someone invented the photocopier!
If a school buys a book, it owns the book. The content, however, remains the property of the author.
If you, a member of staff, make copies of certain pages from a book for your lesson, you need permission to do so, and this is exactly what the CLA licence gives you.
Once this is understood, it’s easy to see why we at CLA need to know what is being copied; the monies paid for the licence are re-distributed as royalties to the authors and publishers of the copied work, and quite right too.
Staff working in schools, and not just teachers but also non-teaching assistants, reprographic technicians, school business managers and admin staff all have a crucial role in ensuring these rights holders receive their dues and we at CLA applaud every single one of them.
About the Author
Mike Gray is the CLA Sector Coordinator for Schools. His work takes him into local authorities, MATS, music services and the full spectrum of schools from state secondaries to private preparatory institutions, to name just a few. As a former headteacher, he has seen many changes in and around the sector but is always impressed at the commitment he encounters as he goes about his CLA business. Oh, and he really likes cricket.