What is licensing about?

CLASS’ primary business is copyright licensing. We act as the middle-man between the owners of copyright materials, who are our members and the users of copyright materials who are our licensees.

We are a not-for-profit organisation, hence we do our best to strike a balance between rights owners’ need and right to obtain equitable remuneration for their works, and users’ need to use these works, as well as the needs of educators and students, who need to use these works for educational purposes.

Schools, institutions and organisations that have a licence with CLASS will pay licence fees. The amount of fees is calculated based on a number of variables such as the student enrolment, course type, usage of copyright materials etc. Fees collected by CLASS are then collated into a pool of money to be distributed back to rights owners in our annual income distribution. Distribution is based on surveys and records gathered from licenced institutions.


CLASS Background

The Copyright Licensing and Administration Society of Singapore Limited (CLASS) is a not-for-profit organisation set up by publishers and authors to protect their copyright interests. CLASS is the collecting society that is responsible for administering the regulations governing copying from books, journals and periodicals belonging to its members, who consist of both international and local book publishers and authors.

It was established in 1999 after nearly four years of efforts by interests groups, representing owners of copyrights, who had been seeking a mechanism of control and just recompense for authors and publishers while at the same time continuing to satisfy the reasonable demands of a modern information-driven society.

CLASS will pay to its members and foreign reproduction rights organisations (RROs) with which CLASS has reciprocal or bilateral agreements, their correct shares of the distributable income and to provide adequate data to enable these societies to pay individual authors and publishers.

In addition, CLASS will also institute such legal proceedings as may be necessary for the enforcement of the rights entrusted to the Society.

CLASS sees its principal licensing areas in Singapore as being education, government and industry. Each of these broad categories has three to four sub-groups, namely:

– Education : general education; higher and further education; charities and churches

– Government : government; statutory boards and public bodies

– Industry : trade; industry; commerce; professions

Basically, CLASS is akin to a banking operation with legal overtones: it collects fees from licensed users for acts of photocopying from books and periodicals and other copying such as microfiche printing. After deducting its operating costs and any reserves or provision that the CLASS Board may decide, the Society will then distribute the balance to the members for them to pay to individual authors and publishers; and to foreign RROs for them to distribute according to local custom and practice.

CLASS aims to offer each sector of the user community the most appropriate form of licensing for its need and to that end, it is always prepared to be flexible when discussing proposals for licensing. But certain core principles will always apply.  CLASS’s responsibility to copyright owners is paramount and it must excercise care not to undermine the value of the rights entrusted to it.

– All licensees have access to the full repertoire of works handled by CLASS.


Types of licences offered

  • Transactional Licences
  • Blanket Licences


Excluded works



Who should be licensed

If you or your institution/organisation make use of copyright materials, for example, you photocopy materials from books, articles from newspapers and magazines, you will need to obtain a copyright licence from CLASS. This licence will allow your institution/organisation to photocopy copyrighted materials legally, provided it is done within the limits as stated in the Copyright Act.

To find out more about how you can go about obtaining a licence, please contact us at classy@singnet.com.sg