Publishers win High Court fight to block internet piracy

The Publishers Association is celebrating a significant legal victory today. It has forced reluctant internet service providers to block access to a number of sites containing huge volumes of copyright material.  The courts ruled that freedom of the internet does not mean freedom to steal other peoples’ work and make money selling it or selling advertising based on access to illegal copies.

Why it takes court action to force ISPs to co-operate is one of the enduring mysteries of modern life. The argument that technology and search is a neutral platform and operating these money making businesses does not carry a responsibility to intervene against criminality was rapidly undermined when Google and others were forced in the court of public opinion to act against child pornography. The principles – or lack thereof - became very clear in the public gaze at that point, but the fact that ISPs continue to drag their heels is not very edifying. Hopefully this High Court ruling will help common sense prevail.

NLA media access watches with more than passing interest. Our anti-piracy initiative, OATS, is now used by most national newspapers and achieves a take-down rate on infringing material of over 80%. We applaud the Publishers Association for taking action to reduce the volume of illegal use of published content. 


NLA hits 200 – with Faversham House

We are pleased to report that Faversham House has chosen to switch their licensing to NLA media access, bringing the total of magazine publishers covered by the NLA licence to 200.  Since NLA first started licensing magazine content in October 2013, following the PPA recommendation to members, publishers have been deciding on an individual basis  whether or not to use the NLA service. The fact so many have decided to transfer to NLA in such as short space of time shows the growing industry confidence in our ability to deliver, underpinned by the positive experience of those who transferred from the start. Some of the comments from leading brands include:  

‘We are delighted with the monthly royalties we have been receiving from PLS since NLA media access started licensing our content less than a year ago.’ Paul Hunt, Deputy Finance Director, Euromoney Institutional Investor

‘As a small publisher we value all our revenue streams, so I was surprised and delighted to receive a significant rise in secondary licensing revenues following our switch to NLA’ Rob Chambers, Managing Director, Total Telecom

‘For Time Inc, the switching decision was straightforward and our royalties have grown over the last year as a result.’ Andrew Horton, Director, Content & Brand Licensing, Time Inc. (UK) Ltd.

In 2014 NLA generated over £3m for magazines, and the expectation for 2015 is over £4m, and as we continue to add more publishers, revenue will continue to grow. 


The Communicators’ Guide to Copyright

It is probably true that few people entering the public relations industry think that copyright law will play an important role in their working lives. Yet from the very moment that just one press cutting or an online article is reproduced (either in print or digitally) and distributed to a client or colleague, copyright is involved. Understanding basic copyright law is therefore fundamental to working in public relations, and in particular media relations, where success is often measured by media coverage.

In association with CorpComms magazine, NLA media access has developed a handy guide for the PR industry to help ensure practitioners are aware of the copyright landscape and able to share content from a publisher with the appropriate permissions in place.

At its heart copyright retains a simple guiding principle – it’s right to ask permission before using someone else’s property. After all, without the investment that publishers make in quality journalism, there would be no coverage for PRs to show their clients.

In practice it’s a little more complicated than that, which is where the Guide comes in. The Guide will help you understand what licence is suitable for your use and also includes details of new services, licences and content now represented by NLA media access. It also explains what happens to the licence fees you pay and how the royalties are used to support journalism and the publishing industry.

We hope you find the guide informative. For more information contact sdowley@nla.co.uk or call our licensing team on 01892 525273.


NLA media access, PLS and PPA champion digital rights

This morning NLA media access co-hosted an two hour session event with the Publishers Licensing Society (PLS) and Professional Publishers Association looking at how appropriate rights can be secured in an efficient, transparent and fair manner.

As the PPA set out in their event brief, the diversification of publishing from print editions into a mix of online, tablet, mobile and other media means that acquiring the most appropriate rights can be a complex endeavour. For publishers, capturing additional revenue streams from new platforms can be hampered where appropriate agreements with contributors do not clearly and fairly allow re-use of content.

From the NLA Lis Ribbans, former Managing Editor of The Guardian, was an expert guest speaker sharing her views on how rights management has evolved and best practice for the future.

She was joined by Michael Pocock, Head of Licensing & Syndication at the Independent and Andrew Horton, Director, Content & Brand Licensing, Time Inc.

For further information on NLA’s work in this area please contact publisherservices@nla.co.uk


NLA media access showcases new PR measurement tool

NLA showcased our Article Impact Measurement (AIM) tool to an audience of PR professionals at a News UK hosted event last week. On the day, we demonstrated the insights available via AIM and also worked with our own retained agency, Blue Rubicon, to showcase its importance to the evaluation metrics of the PR industry.  

Through our relationship with publishers, NLA is now able to provide media monitoring agencies and their PR clients with valuable and previously unavailable data from newspaper publishers. First launched in October last year, AIM uniquely captures the number of views of articles on ten national newspaper websites and the number of times an article is republished on third party websites. This new layer of data greatly improves the accuracy of measurement for the PR industry and can help solve once and for all that burning client question – “How many people have read this story?”

From the discussion, expertly chaired by Helen Dunne of CorpComms, it was clear that the PR industry is open to new measurement metrics and that AIM is an important step in the right direction. There was an almost universal view that the measure of advertising value equivalent (AVEs) has had its day, and a similar story emerged in the use of online Opportunities to See (OTS) measurements too. As Mark from Blue Rubicon pointed out, just 60 comments on the Guardian website means an OTS equal to the world’s population!  

As the event closed there was a clear buzz in the room about the potential for AIM as an importance piece in the PR measurement jigsaw. Barry Leggetter, CEO of the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communication (AMEC), the global trade body for communications measurement, was again supportive of the development of AIM and its ability to complement and enhance existing services.

The NLA team are now following up with all attendees and a number of other warm leads to ensure that AIM can deliver on its potential to greatly improve impact measurement for the PR industry.

If you are a business or PR agency interested in a trial of the AIM product, please contact Bob Johns on bjohns@nla.co.uk