Temporary licence for reading aloud Merlin books online (COVID-19)

In this fraught climate due to the COVID-19 virus, with the unprecedented climate teachers and schools are encountering, and the thirst of children for that most soothing of activities – storytelling – we at Merlin Publishers are keen to do our bit to assist.

As most of you are aware, we are currently releasing our Maltese audiobooks free of charge for anyone to download and listen to. More will be released in the coming days via our Facebook page. You are welcome to download these, share with your students and encourage them to listen to at will.
We are also temporarily relaxing the licences usually required for teachers or anyone wanting to record themselves reading any Merlin Publishers book in the online virtual learning setups that various schools have set up or are in the process of setting up.
Since all these books are covered by copyright and are legally protected intellectual property, we ask that you kindly follow the following guidelines, whether you are a teacher or an individual wishing to record a Merlin story online:

– Books may be read aloud to students, either live or created and uploaded to the school’s online virtual learning setup, in order to mimic the classroom storytelling experience, as long as there is no “download” facility for the reading;

– These recordings shoud not be uploaded to any platform that is not secure and private to the school; so they should not be uploaded to YouTube, Facebook or any other platform to which the general public has access;

– Books may also be read aloud to students in a live online transmission, as long as this is not stored for later retrieval, i.e. that there is no “save” facility and that the reading is not saved or made available for viewing or download after the end of the live transmission;

– During the online reading, the following details should be mentioned: the name of the book, the name of the author, illustrator (and translator if applicable) and the publisher.

– The above extended licence will expire when schools in Malta reopen and children return to school, at which point all recordings on schools’ online virtual learning setups should be permanently deleted.

In order to safeguard the rightsholders’ copyright, and to ensure that your school is operating within the parameters of the law, we ask that you inform us of any book you will be reading as per the above. Please email us the name of the school/teacher and the name of the book to [email protected]
The above does not cover scanning of books or pages therefrom. For any such scanning, the usual licensing requirements apply, and all details may be found here.
Thank you in advance for respecting copyright and intellectual property legislation, even in these trying times.
Should you have any queries or require any clarification on any of the above, please contact us on [email protected]


Photo by Ben Mullins on Unsplash