Is the NLA a monopoly?
Wednesday, August 1, 2012 at 09:30
Andrew Hughes in NLA

Many people assume – quite wrongly – that NLA has a monopoly of some kind on newspaper content licensing for aggregators and their clients. NLA does have exclusive rights to license paper copying, but as paper copying is now less than 10% of the total, its largely irrelevant to most media monitoring businesses. The world’s largest news aggregator by revenue – Factiva – has direct agreements with the publishers, as do Lexis-Nexis, Dialog, Proquest, Thomson Reuters, Bloomberg, NewsBank, NewspapersDirect, CityWebWatch and many others. Yahoo and MSN also pay for news services from UK newspapers, and a large number of free consumer services also carry NLA newspaper content. The publishers’ agreements typically allow the aggregator to contract directly with the client, on price and licence terms quite different from those offered by NLA. Most major UK newspapers will have licence or supply agreements with 15 or more aggregators. They also have syndication departments that are happy to deal direct with clients.

NLA also has a role for newspapers servicing their aggregator clients and tens of thousands of users of those services worldwide. We have been using our eClips database to deliver text to the major aggregators on behalf of most newspapers for several years. More recently eClips web – the web content extension – has also been used in the same way. NLA eClips creates timely  clean structured XML  files of newspaper content. Aggregators like the consistent format and early delivery, and newspapers see the efficiency of NLA acting as the central hub. It fits the NLA mission of improving quality and lowering costs by using better technology to link providers and users.

So next time someone says they have no choice but to deal with NLA, point them at the many other channels through which newspaper content flows to the market. We are happy to be regulated by the Copyright Tribunal, but we are no monopoly. The market options are diverse and users have choice. NLA welcome that.

Andrew Hughes

Commercial Director, NLA

Article originally appeared on NLA (http://blog.nla.co.uk/).
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