Wednesday
Feb132013

Jobs for young journalists: JDF announces 3-month paid internships

Before  becoming the Newspaper Licensing Agency’s MD I worked with the Telegraph Group, launching its first website, the Electronic Telegraph.  It was the beginning of the rapid shift in publisher demand for young, tech savvy journalists who could adapt to the frenetic pace of the online news cycle and create news for a variety of media formats.

So I am very aware that encouraging young new talent is vital to the future of the newspaper industry.  20 years on, competition for entry level positions is fiercer than ever in the digital age, as a squeeze on publisher revenue impacts their businesses. 

There are plenty of fledgling journalists out there seeking to carve out a career.  But the tough economic times mean that even if they have the raw talent many cannot afford to work for free, or to gather the education and experience necessary to make it in the industry.

That’s why publishers support the NLA to use some of the money raised from its licenses to support the Journalism Diversity fund.  Back in September last year, we announced another £100k grant to the JDF to help aspiring journalists, bringing our total contribution to £800,000 since the fund launched in 2005.

This money is now being put to good use in paying tuition fees and living costs for aspiring journalists.  I am delighted to report that the JDF has just announced a paid internship scheme which will provide recipients with a 1-3 month work experience placement at a regional newspaper in order to gain hands-on experience within the industry.

This really steps up JDF support for young people from diverse backgrounds, enabling them to get on the first rung of the ladder for a career in journalism.  Diversity Fund bursary recipients will now be able to put college theory into practice, build their CVs – and have an opportunity to impress a regional newspaper editor!  This scheme will help provide the industry with highly trained, diverse graduates who will reflect the communities which they serve.

It is great to see the NLA’s donations put to such good use.

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA

Follow the NLA on Twitter - @NLA_ltd

Tuesday
Feb122013

A winner! NLA and RNIB pick Matopy as the winning entry for IC Tomorrow’s ‘Inclusive Media’ contest

Unlike the rest of the population, visually impaired people are often unable to read newspapers or newspaper websites in their original form.  But with advances in technology, and a little hard work, they are increasingly able to receive news from newspaper publishers in an audio form they can easily navigate.

The NLA is pleased to make a contribution to this through its partnership with the Royal National Institute for the Blind.  The NLA supplies a daily feed of text from over 100 newspaper titles to their innovations team and the RNIB optimises this content for visually impaired access to create its Talking Newspaper Service. 

Now this has been taken a step further. Last week, IC Tomorrow and the Technology Strategy Board awarded a prize of up to £48,000 to a ‘Inclusive Media’ developer.  Entrants were required to develop a prototype service for application to newspapers.  We are pleased to report that after seeing off tough competition tech company Matopy was the winner.  Their new app will deliver newspapers and magazine content in audio in a way that is faster and easier to access -  and more fun - than any audio browser/reader available today. 

We look forward to seeing it in action!

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA

Follow the NLA on Twitter - @NLA_ltd

Monday
Feb112013

The NLA v Meltwater – three things to remember this week

The NLA / Meltwater Supreme court case around ‘temporary copying’ begins today.

We know that there is often confusion from some quarters as to where the NLA v Meltwater case has reached, what it covers and what the future implications are.

With that in mind, we hope the following points clear up some of the common misconceptions:

The Supreme Court case is considering the relevance of the ‘temporary copying’ exemption in the Copyright Designs and Patents Act in the context of a paid-for Meltwater monitoring service.  The attempt to use this copyright exception to legitimise an unlicensed Meltwater service failed in the High Court (2010) and Court of Appeal (2011); but it is having another outing this week in the Supreme Court.

The Copyright Tribunal case, covering the terms and pricing of NLA web monitoring licences, was resolved last year and licensing terms were accepted by all parties.  The NLA has now licensed most Meltwater clients, together with the clients of all other UK media monitoring agencies.  A joint statement by the NLA, Meltwater and PRCA accepting the decision is available here.

This Supreme Court appeal does not affect current services; instead, it raises a hypothetical issue – whether a heavily revised service in which the end user did not receive copyright material but only opened articles on a publisher site might be validated by the “temporary copying” exception.  NLA argue this exception is very limited and only applies to intermediaries, such as ISPs to allow networks to pass data; the PRCA (on the same side as Meltwater) that it applies to any browsing by users.  That is what the Supreme Court will address.

Most acts of internet browsing are encouraged by publishers and are either authorised or fall within an existing exception.  Browsing a website for private study and non-commercial research is already expressly encouraged and permitted by publishers’ terms of use and by existing copyright law – for example. it is not an infringement of copyright if such acts are undertaken for “the purposes of research for a non-commercial purpose” or for “the purposes of private study”.  For those readers interested in a more detailed explanation, Simon Clark, Head of IP at Berwin Leighton Paisner, wrote an article on the matter which is well worth a read.

Although a reference to the European Court of Justice is possible we hope to have a final judgment soon.  Whatever the result, the NLA will continue to provide businesses and publishers with efficient rights and content exchange services.

Andrew Hughes

Commercial Director, Newspaper Licensing Agency

Follow the NLA on twitter:  @nla_ltd

Wednesday
Jan232013

Meet the NLA staff 

The NLA has a hardworking staff team split between its London and Tunbridge wells offices. We interviewed one of the team for the blog to explain a little more about what the organisation does day to day.

Dave Martin

Dave Martin is the NLA’s senior account manager.  He is part of the team responsible for assisting and advising new clients of their licence requirements. He is based in the company’s Tunbridge Wells office.  Dave has been with the NLA for 8-and-a-half years.

My day to day work:  Normally my role will be to explain to companies why a licence for copyrighted newspaper clippings or web content is needed.  I will help them make a decision on what licence they need and ensure it is as cost effective as possible. I’m also responsible for writing the company literature that we send to clients such as licence application forms.

How has the NLA changed since you started here?  When I first started work here the NLA was a very different organisation and had a reputation for being tough.  As we have become more established and more people grow to understand the benefits of having a licence I think relations with customers have definitely improved.  The staff work hard to build up a positive relationship with our customers and to clear up any misunderstanding or confusion.

Best day in the office:  The company is a great place to work for and my favourite day has to be when I finalised a licence for a very well-known company after years of negotiations to establish the type of licence that best suited its needs.  But, I enjoy most days because I love the people I work with.

Hobbies out of work: With three small children I am pretty busy looking after them when not in work –so no time for hobbies just now!

Favourite read:  It has to be The Sun, for Dear Deidre!

Thursday
Jan172013

An evidence based approach to copyright – and its value to UK plc.

Last year, the NLA joined a group of licensing agencies and publishers to support the  Stationers’ Company initiative to fund a position at The Department of Information Studies at University College London (UCL) for a three year research studentship.  The purpose of the position is to study the broader commercial implications of copyright and intellectual property for the publishing industry in the digital age.

Aislinn O’Connell, a Master’s student in international business law was picked for the post and started on the project this week.  She aims to work closely with the UK copyright community to understand the economic and commercial evidence and legal arguments surrounding copyright and the creative economy. 

There is a growing body of evidence, including this study recently published by the IPO, that copyright not only underpins the future of UK based creative industries, but contributes billions to the economy. However, this is a fast moving area and there is certainly more that can be done to examine linkages between copyright and IP, the creative economy and the balance sheet of UK plc.  Such evidence is critical to the Government in making an informed decision on any future changes to the current copyright regime.

This was well put by Trevor Fenwick, managing director of Euromonitor, who conceived the project and leads the Stationers’ Copyright Group: “Whenever we submit arguments that the 300 year old right to intellectual property which is copyright still underpins the future of all the creative industries we are asked ‘where’s your evidence’?  The appointment of a three-year research post at UCL is intended to address this, particularly from a publishing perspective.”

The NLA is pleased to be able to support this valuable research project alongside the Publishers Licensing Society, Copyright Licensing Agency, Pearson and Euromonitor.

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA