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


Copyright Licensing Group gets off to a flying start

The NLA attended the first meeting of the Copyright Licensing Steering Group last week. The CLSG is chaired by James Lancaster and over the coming months will be coordinating the work of a number of work streams that stem from Richard Hooper and Ros Lynch’s Copyright Works report, published last year. The most publicised recommendation of the report is the establishment of a Copyright Hub, to facilitate simpler and automated acquisition of copyright licences for small businesses; but other groups are working on streamlining music licensing (led by PPL and PRS for Music), simplifying education licensing and agreeing common metadata standards for creators and publishers – which will create the building blocks for smoother digital licensing.

The NLA has joined other licensing and publishing companies in funding the first year of the project, but it is hoped that government funds will be available to support the work after that – if enough progress is made and the benefits to the creative economy can be demonstrated. Anyone who wants to follow the progress of the Copyright Hub project can now do so at the new web site.

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA


URLs and Licensing – UK position

As one of the Irish diaspora and a member of the UK’s NLA team involved in the Meltwater case, I have read the furore in Ireland with respect to commercial use of newspaper URLs, with some personal interest and professional enthusiasm.

For clarity, the current position in the UK amongst the majority of publishers is that the posting of links (excluding headlines & text extracts) on company websites is acceptable and does not incur a NLA licence charge.

On the other hand, if your company wants to take advantage of positive press and many do, the NLA now has a Corporate Website Republishing licence, which gives companies permission to post full articles, headlines and text extracts on their corporate websites and social media sites.

If your company has subscribed to an online media monitoring service and is receiving links to NLA newspaper content via this service, then a licence is necessary.  This area was the focus of the NLA legal cases over the course of the last few years.

It’s worth repeating that the core issue for newspapers is the unlicensed reproduction of content for commercial gain, not personal use or the mere use of URLs.

Susan Dowley

Director of Sales and Marketing, NLA


A festive exchange between the NLA and PRCA

Readers of CorpComms magazine will have received a guide to copyright law in their latest issue,  sponsored by the Newspaper Licensing Agency and designed to help PRs navigate the ins and outs of the licensing requirements for newspaper content. 

Here at the NLA we genuinely appreciate the PR industry’s support for newspaper publishers and the journalists they employ.  Our licences for press clippings, database access and other NLA services are a source of income much needed by newspaper publishers.

As our Infographic shows, NLA licence fees contribute the equivalent of 800 jobs in the newspaper industry, some in hard pressed regional and local titles. These journalists then in turn create the written content which provides the publicity the PR industry thrives on.
We were therefore disappointed  to see the latest comments from the industry trade body PRCA.  It seems not everyone is wishing the newspaper industry a happy Christmas
As the PRCA has decided to take a less than constructive approach to our copyright guide - we wanted to make some points on their blog post:

  • Following the Copyright Tribunal decision on web licensing, earlier this year, a joint statement was issued by the NLA, UKMMA, Meltwater and PRCA explaining the agreed pricing structure for clients.  Since then we have worked positively with Meltwater and their customers to implement web licensing, which we had delayed until the Tribunal's decision.  We hope that the PRCA will soon be able to join the rest of the PR industry in moving on and working constructively together - which would be of greater benefit to its members.
  • The PRCA blog post references a corporate web licence which the NLA has recently introduced.  This provides a cost-effective licensing solution for those companies wanting to republish content from multiple publishers on their web sites (referencing positive product reviews etc). It is worth bearing in mind however that like all NLA licenses it is non-exclusive.  Companies can still approach publishers individually and negotiate a fee to use their content, if they prefer.
  • When quoting for new licences, the NLA is committed to providing a fair quote based on the information provided to us by a licensee once they have explained what they want or need to do with newspaper content.  If the client decides to change the level of cover required, naturally their quote will change to reflect this.

We take customer satisfaction seriously and will shortly update our annual report with 2012 results of our monthly survey.  So if you do have a question, concern or lack of clarity around your license, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Thanks – and have a Merry Christmas!

The NLA team


European Integration in Practice

Cross-channel platform celebrated by Denis Noel, CEO of CFC and David Pugh, MD of NLANLA eClips – the database used by all major UK media monitoring suppliers and users to access print and digital media – now has a French twist. NLA and its French equivalent CFC (Centre Francais d’exploitation du droit de Copier) announced that eClips is now being used to deliver French national newspaper content to media monitoring companies in France. A technical co-operation agreement signed after an extensive trial means the proven benefits of eClips – fast, high quality access to original publisher content – are now available to thousands of French users.
NLA and CFC intend to use the common technical platform to improve access to international content for press cuttings users  in UK, France and other countries. A searchable version of the French content – Distri-Doc – is also made available to French journalists. The parallel UK journalists research service ClipShare is used by over 6,000 UK users.