Wednesday
Feb272013

Online licensing for more NLA clients this year

In 2010 the NLA responded to customer feedback and launched an online licence renewal service, enabling businesses to renew their copyright licence simply, securely and efficiently online.

2 years on, this is proving a popular and efficient way for businesses to administer their licence, with nearly 1,000 licensees using the service in 2012.

Licensing online, via www.nla.co.uk is simple to use and provides clients with all the information they need to manage their copyright licence for the forthcoming year – including cover details and licence fees. The NLA’s aim is to remove some of the complexity from our licensing process and provide clients with the facility to select the level of cover they need for their media monitoring needs in a way and at a time that suits them.  We now want to make online licensing  more available.

In the next few months, the service will be extended to a larger group of clients with more extensive media monitoring activity and more involved copyright needs. Clients receiving a press clippings service and sharing relevant content with colleagues, will be able to log in to their NLA account, see their current licence cover and review volume and usage data, to make an informed decision on their licence needs for the forthcoming year.

Clients eligible for the new service will automatically receive an email inviting them to renew their licence online. By clicking on the link provided in the email invitation licensees will be taken directly to their account information and will be guided through the renewal of their licence.  NLA Account managers will be on hand to assist where necessary.

Josh Allcorn

Account Manager, Renewals

Tuesday
Feb262013

Who owns the future? When disruption becomes destruction

Here at the NLA we know from personal experience that the debate around copyright can get bogged down in debates over the minutiae of a particular piece of copyright law – and forget the big picture as to why NLA web licenses are necessary.

Therefore our recommended reading for March is a new book called ‘Who Owns The Future’ by Silicon Valley pioneer Jaron Lanier.   As Lanier points out the digital revolution has brought incredible short term benefits to consumers and wealth to tech entrepreneurs, but there are also huge risks attached.

There is a fine line between disruptive technology which opens up new markets, and destructive technology, which ultimately damages the wider economy.  Respect for copyright, and the NLA’s efforts to seek a fair return for newspaper publishers content are part of the safety net that ensures the internet is to the benefit of all.

For more on this, read the thoughtful review by Evening Standard journalist Andrew Neather.

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA

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