Our new blog - and our new code

Welcome to the brand new Newspaper Licensing Agency blog. The NLA is normally in the business of licensing and distributing our publishers' content – but here we will be largely producing our own - as well as inviting others who are interested in our work and the issues it raises to blog here too.

We want to have our say, but we also want to hear what you think, so let us have comments on anything we say that interests, provokes or indeed outrages you - although we hope the dialogue will minimise the latter!

The key reason for starting the blog is that this has been a busy time for newpsaper licensing and the wider world of copyright generally - and there is a lot to talk about. The creative industries are an engine of the UK economy - UK newspapers generate £5bn in annual revenue. Copyright is critical both to the protection of that income and in enabling the generation of new revenue from the use of content - as we see in the media monitoring sector licensed by the NLA.

So let me start with a quick look back. In April we came to an amicable agreement with Meltwater, resolving a dispute over the online licensing of newspaper content by commercial aggregators and media monitoring firms. The Copyright Tribunal ruling ensures that PR professionals have clarity and certainty on the fees they can expect for copyrighted web content and allows all parties to move on.

Alongside other collecting societies from across the creative industries, we fed into the Hargreaves review of intellectual property, ensuring that the Government understands the challenges faced by the newspaper industry and the need for intellectual property safeguards. We are also looking to streamline licensing wherever possible and conducted a feasibility study on the Digital Copyright Exchange which we published in February 2012.

We also continue to support important projects for the education and not-for-profit sectors. We partner with the RNIB to produce Talking Newspapers , we fund The Journalism Diversity fund and Newspapers for Schools – you will hear more about these on the blog soon.

In the future we intend to use this blog as an information platform for all the work we are doing – and on occasion we’ll also use it to dispel some common myths about our work on behalf of newspapers and the journalists they employ.

But before we do that we need your views and the first thing we would welcome feedback on is our new code of conduct. You can see it here. This is something we have been working on over the last year, updating - and publishing for the first time - the internal standards we have been working to, but also comparing notes with other licensing agencies (such as the PRS for Music) and learning from best practice. We constantly strive to keep our customer satisfaction high and set the best possible standards of service, so if you are an NLA customer or stakeholder please follow the link and give your views.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

David Pugh

Managing Director, NLA

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