What are collecting societies and why do they matter?

At this webinar we unraveled the mystery of what Collective Management Organisations (also known as Collecting Societies) are, how they function and who they represent.

CMOs came into existence to manage the rights of collecting reprographic (photocopying) licensing revenue from various sources, such as schools, universities, and public administration, who ordinarily would be difficult to administer licenses to and collect from as individual rightsholders.

These days CMOs play an integral part of permitted collective uses that go beyond the initial licence. During this webinar we explained the role a CMO plays following the use of a direct licence by clients when secondary uses occur, whether reprographic or digital copies.

We answered questions such as:

  • how does secondary licensing work?
  • when do these types of licensing terms appear in contracts?
  • what is Extended Collective Licensing?
  • what may a future CMO licencing scheme look like?

Additionally, we discussed CMOs in relation to picture buying: if or when do picture researchers or buyers need to contact CMOs to clear secondary rights? What happens if you’re contacted by a CMO about rights clearance?


Denise Swanson PortraitDenise Swanson

With a background in marketing, Denise Swanson is a freelance arts and cultural heritage photographer, artists’ project manager and co-founder of Oxheys artists group based in Preston, with a Masters in Fine Art. Denise has previously worked with organisations such as Creative Skillset as an Assessor and the British Institute of Professional Photography, where she served on the board of directors and achieved two Fellowships, running workshops, assessing qualifications and advising members on copyright related issues.

A long time advocate of creators’ rights, Denise has lobbied on various issues as a member of the British Copyright Council representing the interests of photographers.

She currently serves on the board of directors of PICSEL, a collective management organisation (CMO) and BCC member, representing the interests of individual photographers.

Elected Chair of the BCC Copyright Education & Awareness Working Group in March 2021, a group with which she has been involved for over 12 years, she is also part of the IPO Copyright Education and Awareness Group.

When: Wednesday 10 June at 16:30

Where: Zoom

Free of charge to BAPLA members

Flexible fees for non-members

Please note: Our webinar sessions are not recorded - this is to encourage open and authentic comments from all of our speakers. Please bear this in mind when booking your ticket. In most cases presentations shared during the webinars are sent to attendees post-event.


PICSEL is a not-for-profit collective management organisation (CMO), committed to taking care of image rightsholders interests and providing a level platform to engage in secondary licensing.

As a new collecting society for pictures our key objective is to ensure that all visual artists, creators and representative rights holders, in the UK and abroad, can claim royalty payments more effectively.

PICSEL launched in December 2015, as an independent CMO in the UK, under the auspices of the Collective Management of Copyright Regulations 2016, providing much needed healthy competition in the marketplace to benefit rightsholders within the Image Sector.

PICSEL exclusively represents a significant number of image-based rightsholders, including individuals, by contract.

Collectively our members have almost 140 million images available to license.

PICSEL is responsible for collecting monies made from reprographic and digital copying which is fairly, equitably and timely distributed to rights holders of image works, including individual creators, picture libraries and agencies.