Who we are

Archive- Code of Conduct 2012

ERA Code of Conduct 2012


The Purpose of this Code


This Code aims to:-

identify the rules governing ERA’s governance structure, licensing
arrangements, collection of fees, distribution practices and administration charges;
provide for transparency in terms of access to licence tariffs;
explain the rights mandates given to ERA by its members;
clarify service levels provided by ERA for members and licensees; and
clarify complaints/disputes procedures for members and licensees.
In this Code “the Act” means the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (as amended).

What is the Educational Recording Agency (ERA)?

ERA is a collective management organisation.

ERA operates as a Company limited by guarantee, registered in England under company number 2423219.

ERA is authorised to operate its copyright Licensing Schemes within the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

On behalf of its Members, ERA operates two copyright Licensing Schemes for the benefit of educational establishments.

The main ERA Licensing Scheme operates under terms that are certified under s 143 of the Act. Educational establishments which secure an ERA Licence have the option of taking out an additional Licence known as “ERA Plus”.

The scope of both licences is described in more detail elsewhere in this Code. Details of both Licensing Schemes are published in full on the ERA website at www.era.org.uk

ERA and its obligations to rights holders

Who are the Members of ERA?

ERA Members are:

Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society Limited
Association De Gestion Internationale Collective Des Oeuvres Audiovisuelles
BBC Worldwide Limited
BPI (British Recorded Music Industry) Limited
Channel Four Television Corporation
Channel 5 Broadcasting Limited
Compact Collections Limited
Design and Artists Copyright Society Limited
Directors UK Limited
Focal International Limited
The Incorporated Society of Musicians
ITV Network Limited
Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Limited
Musicians’ Union
Open University Worldwide Limited
The Performing Right Society Limited
Phonographic Performance Limited
Radio Independents Group
Sianel Pedwar Cymru

Who may become a member of ERA?

Any society, guild, association or other body (whether corporate or unincorporated) which is a substantial copyright owner or represents a substantial number of copyright owners not already represented by one of the existing members of ERA for the purposes of licensing the rights relevant to the ERA Licensing Scheme, is eligible to apply for membership of ERA.

How does a representative body apply for membership of ERA?

Each member of ERA nominates a representative to act as a Director appointed to the Board of ERA.

The Board of ERA oversees new applications for membership and the terms that all members of ERA are required to observe as set out in the ERA Membership Agreement.

Any organisation which considers itself eligible for membership may apply to ERA for admission.

An application must be made in writing in such form and subject to such conditions as the Directors shall from time to time prescribe. The Directors may require an applicant to supply such evidence of eligibility as the Directors consider reasonably necessary.

All applicants are supplied with copies of the Articles of Association of ERA and the terms of the ERA Membership Agreement in the form applicable to all current members of ERA at the time a new application is made.

Membership Agreements

All Members of ERA are required to observe the Articles of Association of ERA and the terms of the ERA Membership Agreement (as the same may be amended by unanimous agreement of all ERA members from time to time).

The current Articles of Association of ERA and the standard terms of the Membership Agreement applicable to all members of ERA from time to time are provided by ERA to all Members.

Copies of the Articles of Association of ERA and a template of the Membership Agreement terms can be reviewed by prospective members through copies posted on the ERA website at www.era.org.uk

Can Members withdraw from ERA?

ERA members can give notice to ERA to withdraw from ERA. Details are set out in the Membership Agreement and the Articles of Association provided for all Members.

In general 12 months’ notice of withdrawal is required to allow for standard annual Licence Agreements in force at the time that notice of withdrawal is given to operate for their full term.

Whom does ERA License?

Educational establishments. A statutory definition of “educational establishment” is included in section 174 of the Act.

ERA cannot license public libraries, commercial training organisations or educational units in museums and galleries, as these are not “educational establishments” according to the Act.

What rights does ERA License?

The rights which ERA is authorised to license for its members are defined by the Articles of Association and the ERA Membership Agreement (as amended from time to time).

The Membership Agreement describes the rights that are required to support operation of the main ERA Licensing Scheme within a definition of “Certified Rights”.

The Membership Agreement describes the rights that are required to support operation of the ERA Plus Licensing Scheme within a definition of “Additional Rights”.

Can ERA members withdraw from membership of ERA?


ERA generally issues licences to apply up to 31 March or 31 July in each year.

For renewals, licences apply for 12 months.

If a member wishes to withdraw from ERA they must give ERA not less than 18 months written notice and as otherwise specified by ERA’s Articles of Association and standard terms of the Membership Agreement.

This allows for annual licences issued by ERA before notice of withdrawal is received to continue to operate for the benefit of licensees.

How does ERA provide for a fair and balanced representation of Members within the internal decision making process of ERA?

Each member of ERA is entitled to one vote on issues requiring votes from members.

The Membership Agreement provides that votes on listed issues which may affect the balance of representation of rights owners by ERA require unanimity from all members eligible to vote.

The ERA members agree that the business of ERA is managed by the Board of Directors.

Each member of ERA may appoint one person to be their representative Director on the Board and may remove and replace that person from such office. Each Director is entitled to one vote on the Board when decisions are put to the vote.

How do members or prospective members of ERA find out information about the way that membership of ERA is linked to Board representation and a “one member” – “one vote” system?

The Articles of Association of ERA and the template terms of the Membership Agreement include details.

Copies of these documents can be accessed on the ERA website at www.era.org.uk

How does ERA address questions or concerns of Members?

As the appointed representative of an ERA member, it is usually the individual appointed by that member to act as their representative Director on the Board of ERA who will be asked to raise questions or concerns with the ERA secretariat.

If a question is raised for an ERA member other than by the nominated Director, the ERA secretariat will inform the nominated Director of the issue by email or other­wise as soon as reasonably practicable after the issue is raised. The nominated Director is then able to decide whether they wish to respond directly or instruct the ERA secretariat to respond, keeping the Director informed of responses made.

The contact details of ERA including the email address era@era.org.uk are published on the ERA website to enable members to raise questions with the ERA secretariat in writing should they wish to do so other than through their nominated Board Director.

How does ERA deal with members transparently and represent the interests of its members equitably and with all due diligence and care?

Because each member is represented on the Board of ERA, correspondence and information about the general business of ERA is provided to all members of ERA in a regular and transparent way. (Each Board member can see the full list of Board members copied with correspondence and information about Board business.)

However, correspondence relevant to an identified Category of ERA members may be kept confidential to the ERA members within that Category when the ERA Membership Agreement requires this.

Such confidentiality is particularly relevant when the share of total Distributable Revenues allocated to a Category of ERA Membership has to be subdivided by agreement between affected members to allow for an agreed allocation of revenue to be made for the new member.

ERA and its obligations to licensees


ERA works to ensure that all those who may require any ERA Licence or ERA Plus Licence are treated fairly, honestly and courteously. As part of this process, ERA has published this Code of Practice.

What does ERA License?

ERA Licences support educational establishments building and retaining libraries of audio and audio-visual recordings for educational use.

Recordings must be sourced by or for educational establishments from

(a) radio or television broadcasts; or
(b) online services making available programmes which have previously been broadcast when the terms and conditions of use expressly permit access under the terms of an ERA Licence.

Hundreds of television and radio stations are now receivable in the UK every day.

These services are increasingly complemented by on demand services provided electronically using applications such as the BBC iPlayer, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 online services.

Guidance notes about the relevance of these services to educational establishments are published on the ERA website at www.era.org.uk

The services which may be accessed and used by holders of ERA Licences provide an opportunity for selection and access to valuable teaching and learning resources.

Recordings made or sourced under the terms of an ERA Licence can be built into a resource bank for an educational establishment covering topics such as drama, wildlife, the arts and current affairs.

Copies of licensed recordings can be made for educational use within licensed premises. Clips from programmes can also be selected and used to help encourage reference to the resource library or for cross reference within class presentations or lectures.

Increasingly online relay within licensed premises linked to white board and other in-class presentations is widening the number of ways that licensed recordings can be used.

ERA publishes a booklet on how to make the most of your Licence and general guidance on its terms. This is published on the website at www.era.org.uk

In addition paper copies can be requested from ERA.

The booklet includes information on the additional opportunities available through ERA Plus Licence.


What licence fees apply to licences granted by ERA?

The licence fees applicable to ERA and ERA Plus Licences are published within the Schedules that form part of the Licences.


How much does an ERA Licence cost?

Licence fees are calculated against student numbers on an annual basis according to:

The type of educational establishment i.e. primary, secondary, further or
higher etc.

The number of full-time (or equivalent) students registered at the establishment.
To see ERA’s current per capita tariffs, go to www.era.org.uk

What are the terms within ERA Licences?

The full terms and conditions of the ERA Licence and the ERA Plus Licence are published on the ERA website at www.era.org.uk

Consultation takes place when terms of ERA Licences are changed in any significant way.

If the terms of the ERA Licence are to be changed, ERA is required to give notice to the Intellectual Property Office of the proposed changes and request that the revised terms are noted and confirmed within Regulations linked to the Act.

These Regulations take the form of Statutory Instruments.

Explanatory notes concerning proposed changes to the ERA Licence are prepared and published by ERA for both the Intellectual Property Office and a number of bodies representing different types of educational establishments, with whom ERA consults about practical operation of the ERA Licence and the linked ERA Plus Licence.


How does ERA cover its costs?

Each year the members of ERA, acting by its Directors, approve a budget to cover the running costs of the secretariat. Each member of ERA is represented by a Director on the Board of ERA. Each Director has the right to vote to approve the budget for operation of the Secretariat.

This approved budget is funded by an allocation of licence fees earned and otherwise distributable to ERA members and provision for bank interest which is earned from any licence fees held by ERA pending distribution to Members in accordance with the approval procedures provided in the ERA Membership Agreement.

Distributions to members are usually made every three months.

ERA Licences and Links with s 35 of the Copyright Act

ERA grants its principal Licences in accordance with the Licensing Scheme, which has been certified by the Secretary of State under Section 35 of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 (‘the Act’). The Licences issued by ERA under Section 35 authorise the following two non-commercial educational activities:

1.recording from broadcasts made in the UK of the works and performances owned or represented by ERA members; and

2.electronic communication of licensed recordings within an educational establishment.

Recordings may be made by or on behalf of an educational establishment.

Compact Collections Limited and ERA Licences

The number of broadcast services who expressly license their rights through ERA increased when Compact Collections Limited became a member of ERA.

Compact Collections Limited is an agent which, for the purposes of operation of ERA Licences, covers relevant rights in the broadcast services (with Ofcom licences) operated and owned or controlled by:

(a)Discovery Communications Europe Limited (for example Discovery Science)
(b)NGC Europe Limited (for example National Geographic Channel, National Geographic Channel HD, Wild UK, Nat Geo Wild (Europe) and Wild HD)

What are the benefits of Copyright and Section 35?

Copyright law provides authors and performers with a way of earning a living through the use of their creativity. It also enables broadcasters, producers and publishers to secure fair reward for their investment in that creativity. While copyright law protects the interests of copyright owners, it also balances this with the needs of users. Section 35 of the Act achieves that balance by encouraging copyright owners to come together to offer a convenient and cost-effective licence, in this case for educational users.

What should I do if I have questions about ERA Licences?

The booklet published by ERA and available at www.era.org.uk includes answers to most frequently asked questions concerning what ERA Licences cover (and what is not covered).

If you have a question which is not covered by this information, please write to or email ERA at era@era.org.uk

Examples of Frequently asked questions


Are there any broadcasts which I cannot record under the ERA Licence?

Yes. Only broadcast material owned or represented by ERA Members is licensed through the ERA Scheme for off-air recording. This means that some broadcasts and material included in them, such as advertisements, are not covered by the Licence because ERA Members do not own or control the rights in them.

However, if you record these broadcasts for non-commercial educational purposes, your recordings in the ways relevant to the ERA Licence will not infringe copyright, unless a certified Section 35 licence applies (see question below). This is because Section 35 (1) states that where works are not covered by a certified scheme, then educational establishments may reproduce and communicate them electronically on-site without infringing copyright. You will need to adequately acknowledge, i.e. label, any broadcast recordings you make under Section 35 (1).

Are there any other licensing schemes for broadcast material not owned by ERA Members?

Section 35 permits rights owners who are not ERA members to set up parallel licensing schemes covering the materials they own or represent. Prior to Open University Worldwide Limited becoming a memberof ERA from 1 July 2013, the Open University offered a separate s 35 licensing scheme covering its own programmes . Since 1 July 2013, repertoire previously licensed under this separate OU scheme has been covered under the terms of ERA licences


Can I record parts of programmes?

Yes, extracts or parts of a programme may be recorded and then stored in either analogue or digital form. Note that the terms of the ERA Licence, including labelling requirements, also apply to recorded extracts .

Can I adapt recordings?

No. Programme material must be used as it has been broadcast. This does not stop extracts or clips from programmes being used. However adaptation, amendment, distortion, or mutilation of material is not authorised under the Licence. For example, adapting a recording by separating the original soundtrack from the picture and substituting a new commentary for the original is not permitted.

Modern software packages facilitate the extraction and ‘re-editing’ of film and broadcast material, and licensed establishments should ensure that such tools are used responsibly by students.

Programme credits are considered part of a broadcast and should not be edited from recordings.

Can I subtitle recordings for hearing-impaired students or add audio description?

No. The addition of subtitles or audio description to material recorded under the Licence is not permitted. However, subtitles and audio description broadcast with programme material can be recorded and should then be treated in the same way as other licensed recordings.

If you wish to add subtitles or audio description to recorded material, you need to approach the owners of the works in question to check whether their consent is required.


Using Recordings


How can I use off-air recordings?

Licensed recordings can be retained, stored and copied (in both analogue and digital formats). Recordings can be made on physical formats such as DVDs or stored in digital form. The recordings can then be used for educational purposes within the premises of a licensed establishment. This use includes relay within the establishment, for example for showing on interactive whiteboards in classrooms.

For other questions please see www.era.org.uk

ERA and its dealings with prospective and current licensees

ERA Licences and ERA Plus Licences grant rights to educational establishments. Its dealings therefore relate to those concerned in representing the interests of educational establishments.

Why might ERA contact you?

If you are a school, some Local Authorities still offer to take out ERA Licences on behalf of schools within their authority.

Local Authorities are sent information about ERA Licences and a schedule to the Licence(s) issued by ERA lists all the schools that are covered by the Licence. Local Authorities may contact schools to provide information about this process.

ERA also has an agreement in place with IAPS (The Independent Association of Preparatory Schools) under which IAPS may contact independent schools about the issue of ERA Licences.

Where schools or other educational establishments may need to take out a Licence directly with ERA, ERA may make contact to check the status of a current ERA Licence and/or ERA Plus Licence and to invite renewals. Enquiries about pupil or student numbers and outstanding invoices may also be reasons for contact.

In addition to posting information on its website, ERA may also send to educational establishments information about new services or repertoire available under current or prospective licences.

Why might ERA ask for information from you?

ERA will request information to ascertain whether an educational establishment holds the ERA Licences that are needed to cover the uses permitted under published terms and conditions.

ERA Licence terms also provide for recordings to be labelled and for information about use to be provided to ERA to assist ERA in informing its Members about use of their repertoire. This in turn enables ERA Members to report on to their own members information about practical application of ERA Licences and assist with the distribution of licences fees to individual rights owners.

Licence terms also provide that ERA may secure declarations from educational establishments that an ERA licence or licences are no longer required and that recordings made or held under previous licences have been deleted or destroyed.


Payments to ERA

Licence Fees payable to ERA may be paid by BACS transfer or by cheque.

Right to cancel licences

Licences are granted on an annual basis by ERA. Licensees are invited to contact ERA should mergers or other changes to the status of an educational establishment become relevant prior to any Licence renewal.

Data held by ERA

ERA is registered with the Information Commissioner as a data processor under the Data Protection Act 1998 (as modified and extended by the Privacy and Electronic Communications (EC Directive) Regulations 2003.

The Registration number is Z7045807.

Contacting ERA

You may contact ERA:

by post addressed to

Educational Recording Agency
Verulam House,
60 Gray’s Inn Road,
London WC1X 8LU

by email addressed to era@era.org.uk

by telephone between the hours of 10am and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays).

We shall acknowledge receipt of correspondence requesting information from ERA within two working days of receipt and (when practical) respond in full within a further ten working days.

ERA will advise correspondents if it is not able to respond in full within the above timescale and of the likely time that it will take to respond in full.

If you are not satisfied with the service offered by ERA, what are the next steps?



1. ERA works to ensure that all who approach ERA are treated with courtesy.
2. ERA hopes that any concerns may be dealt with by the individual member of staff with whom you deal.
3. Following this, if you have a complaint about whether ERA has met its commitments under this Code of Conduct you are requested to write to ERA setting out your complaint.

You may contact ERA with your complaint:

by post addressed to

Educational Recording Agency
Verulam House,
60 Gray’s Inn Road,
London WC1X 8LU

by email addressed to era@era.org.uk

by telephone – 020 7837 3222 between the hours of 10am and 4pm, Mondays to Fridays (excluding bank holidays).

We shall acknowledge receipt of correspondence requesting information from ERA within two working days of receipt and (when practical) respond in full within a further ten working days.

ERA will advise correspondents if it is not able to respond in full within the above timescale and of the likely time that it will take to respond in full.

4.    If you remain dissatisfied with any response to a complaint then you should write to the Chief Executive of ERA within a period of one month explaining the reasons why you remain dissatisfied.

Your letter will be acknowledged within ten working days of receipt and the Chief Executive will either:

(a) confirm the view or decision previously provided by an ERA member of staff and advise you of a further right of appeal; or
(b) undertake to write with a full response after appropriate advice has been taken with an indication of the timescale within which you can expect a full response.

If we believe that we cannot do more than we have already done under our Complaints Procedure, we shall advise you of this.


ERA Complaints procedure

All ERA staff are informed of the provisions of this Code of Conduct and are expected to comply with its terms.

Referral of complaints to the Ombudsman

As part of the appeals procedure relevant to any Complaints not otherwise resolved ERA has put in place procedures for complaints to be referred to an independent dispute resolution service run by Ombudsman Services Limited.

Once terms have been concluded, it is proposed that unresolved complaints may be dealt with through this service.

For more information about Ombudsman Services Limited visit www.ombudsman-services.org

ERA Code of Conduct and Independent Review

ERA is a member of the British Copyright Council.

This Code has been prepared to recognise and comply with the Principles of Good Conduct developed for collective management organisations, prepared and published by the British Copyright Council.

The BCC Principles can be found here: www.britishcopyright.org/page/ 276/principles-of-collective-management-organisations-codes-of-conduct/

In addition ERA has referred to the “Minimum Standards for UK collecting societies” recently published by the Intellectual Property Office.

These Minimum Standards are intended to form the basis of collecting societies individual codes of practice.

These can be found here: www.ipo.gov.uk/types/hargreaves.htm

The BCC Principles and the Minimum Standards for UK collecting societies include provision for Codes adhering to the Principles to be periodically reviewed by an independent reviewer.

The first review of this Code will take place in November 2013 and thereafter every three years.