How our Online Article Tracker System (OATS) helps detect copyright abuse

Copyright abuse is a major issue that affects all publishers and creators of original content. It’s easier now, more than ever, for content to be taken, copied and plagiarised without permission of the original copyright owner. This can present a significant issue for newspaper and magazine publishers as they rely on their unique, quality content to distinguish them in a world of fake news.

In 2014, NLA media access (NLA) created the Online Article Tracking System (OATS), which uses our unique database to search for, and detect, thousands of instances of copyright abuse across vast quantities of online article data.

OATS can analyse every article that’s produced by an online newspaper over a two-month period, and then detect where these articles have been copied by other domains. Once identified, the OATS team can then remove infringing content. With vast volumes of content to analyse, this has been a huge success and has revolutionised copyright detection for many NLA publishers.

These copyright abuses range from parts-of, to full articles, as well as photographs and captions that have been copied and posted without permission. The most common types of copyright abuse are:

  • Copying or lifting text from an online article and adding a credit to the name of the original publisher. This usually occurs because there is a lack of understanding about copyright law and terms and conditions. In our experience, once the infringing domain is notified, they remove the content.
  • Copying or lifting parts of (or all of) the text from an online article and not adding credit or linking to the original publisher. These sites tend to design the layout to look as though it's their own original work by their own reporters.
  • Occasionally, websites that replicate a major news site in terms of design and URL. Sometimes the content is kept the same, however on occasion, we’ve seen the content changed or altered slightly, which gives the article a new tone or message. These instances of slightly-altered content contribute to the issue of ‘fake news’

Since its inception in 2014, the OATS system has helped remove over 400,000 articles from over 3,400 different websites that were taking publisher content without permission. In 2018, OATS removed over 89,400 articles from 802 sources with a 90 percent success rate of removing content. 

In most instances, we contact the site hosting the copyrighted content directly, inform them that they are in breach of copyright and ask them to remove the content. This process reduces the chance of the same person or domain repeating the offence. However, if after multiple attempts we're unable to contact the owner of the website, we contact the domains hosting provider and issue a takedown notice to remove the content.

To find out more and see OATS in action, please see our white sheet: ( )


A Licence to Share: why you need a Corporate Website Republishing Licence

 Businesses rely on news media in various ways; keeping on top of what competitors are doing, as an analysis tool for consumer interests and brand reputation, or to showcase the great work their organisation has done.

If it’s your own products featured in the media, your company may want to shout loud and proud about this third party endorsement. Glowing reviews from newspapers and magazines on your website or social channels are a great way of showing potential customers that you aren’t the only one who loves your product or service.

However, in order to do this, businesses need one of two things: a NLA media access Corporate Website Republishing Licence (CWRL), or the permission of a publisher’s syndication department for each respective article.

A CWRL allows you to post news content to your website and on your company social media profiles. It gives you permission to post headlines, text extracts and PDF files on these sites, without the need to contact multiple publishers to gain their approval.

If you would prefer to seek permission from the individual publishers this must come from their syndication department not a journalist or other member of the editorial team. You should also ensure that you get this permission in writing.

Over 80 per cent of NLA media access revenue is returned directly to publishers who can then go on to continue to create the high quality content your business values. Through the purchase of a CWRL, and all other NLA media access licences, you will continue to support journalism across the UK and beyond.

You can apply for a CWRL by filling out the application form (which you can download here) or by speaking to your NLA media access account manager. For further information on the CWRL and how it works, click here.

So with a CWRL, the next time you see your company mentioned in a newspaper or magazine you don’t have to worry about infringing copyright law or permissions, instead you can focus on showing off the great work you do.




NLA International Partnerships-A Year in Review 2018

Throughout 2018 NLA media access has continued to increase and deepen its reciprocal partnerships across the world. These agreements are vital in making copyright compliance easier for end users, allowing access to international titles, whilst protecting publisher’s intellectual property.

Working with other Reproduction Rights Organisations (RROs), the Press Database and Licensing Network (PDLN), and International Media Monitoring Organisations, NLA is able to legitimise access to international news and magazine content.

Last year we added two new agreements to our portfolio. This brings the total to 26 international partnerships, across 23 countries, and around 6,800 overseas publications which can be accessed and copied by UK licensees. These reciprocal deals also mean that the UK’s leading news publications can be used by our global partners in their respective countries. 

At the beginning of 2018, NLA partnered with Copyright Agency, the Australian licensing body, allowing licence holders to copy content from leading publications such as Australian Financial Review, The Australian, and Sydney Morning Herald.

Later in the year, we partnered with PCMA, New Zealand’s newspaper licensing agency. As a result, NLA licensees are now able to copy many New Zealand newspapers under the terms of their current NLA licences. The agreement also allows PCMA licensees to use UK content.

We look forward to establishing more global partnerships in 2019, enabling end users the ability to access and use more foreign content whilst continuing to support journalism, across the UK and around the world.


NLA announce new partnership with PMCA

NLA licensees will now be able to copy most New Zealand newspapers under the terms of their NLA licences, following an agreement reached between NLA media access and PMCA, New Zealand’s newspaper licensing agency.

This further simplifies licensing of international content, and builds on the growing range of agreements NLA has reached with its peers abroad. NLA users can now copy content from over 20 major countries using their UK NLA agreement. 

The new agreement is reciprocal, and allows PMCA licensees to use UK content. This covers print and web content, and includes rights for media monitoring companies as well as businesses and PR users.

NLA is focused on making copyright compliance easy. We know that international content is increasingly important to UK businesses and we will continue to work to make it easier for UK plc to access and use international news.  


NLA media access 2018 Annual Report

After another year continuing to focus on NLA’s mission of supporting journalism, today we have published our 2018 Annual Report.

We are delighted to have achieved our 21st consecutive year of revenue growth, which is particularly relevant given the continued challenges the news media industry faced in 2017.  With 84% of NLA revenue generated being returned to publishers, we take great pride in doing our bit to support them through these times of change.

There have been many highlights over the past year, and to briefly name a few; NLA successfully launched eClips Web Specialist, a new content delivery system for users of media monitoring services which provides access to important specialist content from behind publisher paywalls.  Furthermore, our valued client base also surpassed 10,000 licensees for the first time, and we provided high quality, valued content to a greater number of media monitoring companies than ever before.

Alongside NLA’s focus on innovation for our stakeholders, we continued to support important causes such as the Journalism Diversity Fund. The JDF awards bursaries to would-be journalists wanting to train and work in the profession.  These bursaries are awarded to people from diverse backgrounds, be it socially, economically or ethnically, with one of the aims being that our newsrooms around the UK better represent their communities. Our latest donation of £100,000 brought NLA’s total contribution to the fund to over £1.2 million.

Already well in to our new financial year, our mission to support journalism through improving existing operations and exploring new opportunities has never been stronger.

For the full report click here.