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PRCA welcomes legislation to regulate collecting societies

London, 9th July – The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) has welcomed the Government’s announcement that it will introduce legislation to ensure collecting societies - such as copyright licensing agencies - adhere to codes of ethical conduct.

Collecting societies will be given a year to introduce and adhere to voluntary codes of conduct, with regulation introduced as a statutory backstop to prevent non-compliance. The codes of conduct will ensure minimum standards, increased transparency, and greater protection for non-member rights holders.

The announcement follows an extensive consultation process as part of the Intellectual Property Office’s Hargreaves Review, where the PRCA argued vehemently for codes of conduct to be introduced. Prior to its submission the PRCA held its own consultation with its members, where there were overwhelming calls for codes of conduct to be introduced to prevent “bullying tactics” of collecting societies.

The Government intends to add its proposals in the Committee Stage of The Enterprise and Regulatory Reform Bill currently going through Parliament.

Francis Ingham, PRCA Chief Executive, said: “This is another victory for the PR Industry, and in particular, our members that voiced their concerns regarding the pernicious tactics that copyright licencing bodies use against them.

“I have lost count of the number of times a member has complained regarding their treatment over copyright licences, so I am glad the Government has recognised the problem and is proposing a sensible and simple solution.”

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Notes to editors

For more information please contact tom.hawkins@prca.org.uk on 020 7233 6026

About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 250 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 100 UK consultancies. We also represent over 70 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.