Copyright Waffle Episode 5: Meet James Bennett

James Bennett with Chris and Jane

We are delighted to announce the launch of our fifth episode of Copyright Waffle where we got to chat with James Bennett, the Head of Rights & Licensing at the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). He is responsible for maintaining and developing CLA’s collective and transactional licensing programme, balancing user requirements with the interests of rightsholders within a complex legislative environment.

His role includes:

• Strategic development of CLA’s collective licensing programme
• Managing a team of Education and Public Sector licensing specialists, who help to maintain relationships and support CLA’s products and services across schools, FE, HE, the NHS and government
• Developing new and enhanced licence products in response to customer requirements
• Exploring and exploiting new licensing opportunities in the UK and globally
• Leading licence negotiations with the Higher Education sector
• Promoting CLA and its licensing activities to rightsholders, customer organisations and other key stakeholders, including public speaking on behalf of CLA at national and international events
• Monitoring the licensing environment in the UK, EU and globally in order to ensure CLA licensing is developed in the context of new and potential changes to legislation
• Consulting with rightsholders on enhancements to CLA’s mandate

James has worked at CLA since 2010, before which he enjoyed a fifteen-year career in illustrated book publishing, commissioning and project managing titles on subjects from gardening to guns, including a stint at Virgin Books where he was proud to publish the first official books on Steps and Westlife.

Blue Plaque at J.M Barrie’s House Bernard Street by Jane Secker CC-BY-SA

In this podcast James also talks to us about his thoughts on the importance of copyright to a vibrant publishing industry, the value of respectful conversations within the copyright world and the opportunities that the Digital Single Market Directive present for digitisation of out of commerce works. He also talks to us about the relevance of Peter Pan to UK copyright law and we debate the important Jaffa Cake question “is it a biscuit or is it a cake?”

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