25 Apr

IFRRO Members Respond to The Challenges Posed by the Coronavirus Pandemic



We recently shared with you some news about how many IFRRO members are responding to the COVID19 emergency. Since that update, we have learned of other projects IFRRO members have developed, and we now share information about those projects here.

Many of these projects support students, teachers and others unable to access resources as usual because of closures during the pandemic. Although generally limited in time to the period of the pandemic, most of these initiatives are made available at no additional cost.

IFRRO members are also promoting reading and access to creative content for those at home in self-isolation, working in collaboration with stakeholders such as authors, publishers and visual artists.

Most importantly the IFRRO community is supporting authors, publishers and visual artists who are experiencing lost income due to the closure of bookshops, museums and galleries, the cancellation of writers’ festivals and the uncertain economic environment. IFRRO and its members are also lobbying governments to ensure that economic support is made available to those in our sector affected by the pandemic.


Joint Statement
World Book and Copyright Day 2020

To that end, IFRRO together with IAF, IPA, STM and EIBF have today, World Book Day, released a statement urging governments around the world to recognise, support and celebrate the importance of books, learning solutions, and professional and scholarly content by adopting economic stimulus packages to sustain their publishing sectors.



Access to Research, Learning and Teaching Materials

In Canada, Copibec has adapted its educational licences to extend the usage limit from 15% to 35% for non-educational books at no additional fee to users. The usage reports will be added to the educational distribution to ensure royalty payment to rightsholders. Copibec is also handling requests to reproduce Quebec works for recorded book reading or the reproduction of whole works needed by the school.

In New Zealand, CLNZ has launched a number of measures including

  • A temporary licence extension to support New Zealand universities’ in retaining students from China who are currently unable to enter New Zealand, including for online usage.
  • Managing transactional licences for copying above the usual licence limits to minimise interruptions to student learning
  • Together with the Coalition for Books establishing a Storytime programme for public and school libraries.
  • Working with the Ministry of Education to develop copyright information for teachers putting together remote learning programmes for students.

copyright information

In the UK, CLA has relaxed some of its licence terms to enable universities to flexibly deliver online learning. For schools, CLA has also temporarily increased the copying limits in its licences from 5% to 30%. Teachers can also use books owned personally in addition to school-owned books.

In Sweden, Bonus Copyright Access has agreed on a temporary licence with the Swedish National Library permitting it to make its service “Swedish Newspapers” available to internet users in Sweden to enable researchers working from home to continue their research. Only newspapers published at least four months earlier may be made available through the service. The service contains over 27 million digitized pages, from the 17th century to the beginning of 2020. Approximately 900 newspaper titles have been digitized to a varying degree by the National Library.

In the USA, CCC has a continually updated resource page of educational resources open for K-12 and higher education during the COVID-19 crisis. CCC


Promoting Reading

In Croatia, ZANA is co-organizing online Book Night on April 23. On line Book, Night will feature nearly 200 programmes by bookshops, second-hand bookshops, libraries, primary and secondary schools, kindergartens, theatres, illustrators, translators, writers and related creatives and institutions.

In Spain, CEDRO has launched a campaign on social media to mark World Book and Copyright Day 2020, to encourage people to read legally which will include testimonials from authors, publishers and other stakeholders.


Promoting Safety

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) has launched a campaign Covid-19: Report Safely to protect its members working to report on this crisis. They have also developed an IFJ Safety Guide available here.

IFJ has also, in collaboration with the Thomson Foundation, created a free online safety course for journalists covering the COVID-19 pandemic.



Advancing Royalties/Payments to Members

In France, CFC is taking extra measures to ensure that the distribution of revenues to authors and publishers is not delayed. In April, 11,5 million euros are to be paid to the press sector.

In New Zealand, CLNZ is also fast-tracking payments of overseas funds to New Zealand rightsholders and accelerating the processing of survey data to get 2020’s licence distribution funds out much earlier in the year.


Support for Creators

In Austria, Literary-Mechana has made available EUR 1 Million to compensate writers for cancelled readings and other events in March and April 2020.

Also in Austria, Bildrecht has established a fund of €500,000 in emergency aid for artists.

In Belgium, SACD set up a special fund to support authors who suffered a loss in revenues due to the crisis. Other measures taken by SACD can be found here.

Also in Belgium, SOFAM has launched SOLIDAIRe, a support fund to help members who find themselves in dire straits as a result of the current health emergency.

In France, SOFIA will continue financial support for cancelled events, such as book fairs, festival and other cultural events so that participating authors can continue to be paid.

In New Zealand, a Special Round of Contestable Fund Grants has been made available by CLNZ to support creators working on a writing or publishing project that has arisen to respond to the changing environment in the NZ writing/publishing sector due to COVID-19. They are also conducting a survey on the impact of Covid-19 on the visual arts sector to use with the government to advocate for visual artists, and bringing forward the opening dates for the 2020 CLNZ/NZSA Writers’ Award and Research Grants applications (with the first opening on 30 April 2020).

In Senegal, SODAV and the actors of the music sector are surveying their members on the impact of the virus, which they expect will cause a 60% drop in their annual collections. To compensate for the loss, SODAV is calling for immediate implementation of private copying remuneration to support the cultural sector.

In Slovenia, SAZOR together with other Slovenian CMOS has contacted the Minister for Economic Development and Technology, asking for authority to temporarily allocate up to 25 per cent of last year’s collected amounts to support their members.

In Spain, VEGAP has launched S.O.S. ARTE/CULTURA They are also advancing their distribution and will provide emergency services including free legal counselling to its members among other emergency services.

Support for creators

Support for The Publishing Sector

In Europe, the Federation of European  Publishers (FEP) is calling on the European Union institutions to support the publishing industry. Detailed information is available here. The European Writers Council (EWC) have launched a joint call with other European writers organisations for the European Union institutions and national governments to put measures in place that support authors. The European Visual Artists (EVA) has launched a #SaveTheArtists campaign, and also collected examples of campaigns to support artists on its website.

In the UK, ALCS is encouraging writers to contact their local MPs to ensure the UK Governments financial plan for freelance workers supports writers immediately.