Race to the Finnish

NLA are pleased to announce that it has reached an agreement with Kopiosto allowing Kopiosto licensed Finnish users to copy most UK newspapers and news websites. The agreement will also allow NLA to license copying of some Finnish content in UK. The agreement does not at this stage cover media monitoring service suppliers. We hope to expand the remit to MMOs in future.

The agreement reflects NLA’s ambition to make it simpler for international business users to use UK news content in the context of local licenses and services. NLA has concluded similar agreements with many international licensing businesses – see here. NLA also licenses direct rights to over 2,000 international business through its IMMO programme. NLA has added Swedish and other rights in 2016 expects to further expand international availability of UK content rights further in the coming months.


The NLA’s 20th year representing publishers was another success story

As our recently published annual report clearly demonstrated, 2015, the NLA’s 20th year representing publishers, was another success story. If you like numbers they are here.

Alongside growing the royalties we return to publishers, we continued to invest in providing content and services for publishers and media monitoring organisations. Magazine publishers added their content to eClips during the year, bringing the number of professional users with access to the service to half a million.

As for services used by journalists, the ClipShare service was upgraded to both increase access speeds and deliver search results on the breadth of content dating back to 2007. Continuing to develop the service is today more important than ever, with over 7,000 journalists now relying on it for their daily work.

2015 also saw a landmark in our support for the next generation of journalism, with NLA contributions to the Journalism Diversity Fund (JDF) passing £1m.

With a packed calendar and lots of exciting initiatives on the horizon, I look forward to seeing the next chapter of our organisation unfold in its 20th year.


Virtual Reality - Do Publishers Really Exist?

Do Publishers Really Exist? It’s an odd question to ask, but currently in European law, (which is focused on author’s rights) they don’t have any formal status. This has led to some rather odd legal outcomes,  so publishers have persuaded the European Commission to consult on correcting the anomaly.

This subject was debated at a seminar in Amsterdam last Saturday. The event, which was hosted by CIVR and run by Cambridge University, also considered how copyright law interacts with newspaper publishing.

The audience and speakers were predominantly academic lawyers, but the discussion was less technical than might be expected. To the extent that any consensus emerged it was that;

-          The challenges for news publishing are much bigger than copyright law;
-          Tightening copyright law and enforcement would help, marginally;
-          If the publisher anomaly needs to be addressed a less sweeping amendment would be preferred by most.

A hot topic was the initial failures in Spain and Germany of attempts to use a local publishers’ right (also called ancillary or neighbourhood rights) to force Google and others to pay for the content they use.  Some publishers see this as progress, and some users as a threat. One thing is for certain, when debating this issue, the emotion is larger than the revenue.

Matt Rogerson, Head of Public Policy at the Guardian, explained the huge pressure publishers face as digital revenue evaporates in the face of over-supply and ad blocking.  The recent closure of the print edition of the Independent helped some present focus on the reality, as did the  Enders Analysis slide (below) showing the decline in newspapers' advertising income.

As is sometimes the case, the lawyers’ opinions wavered and havered (the comment if you pose four copyright lawyers a question you get five opinions rang true).  The economist demonstrated lawyers don’t have a monopoly on sophistry; check the logic behind “users like Google News so we should legislate to ensure it continues “.  Another long day in the copyright law forest but progress was made.


NLA celebrates World Intellectual Property Day 2016

Today is World Intellectual Property Day, an annual event aimed at raising awareness of the issues surrounding IP. This year WIPO looks at how culture is created, accessed and financed and how a balanced and flexible intellectual property system helps ensure that those working in the creative sector, are properly paid for their work, so they can keep creating.

NLA media access is constantly working hard to protect publishers’ IP, so we can grow the royalties we return to publishers and support journalism. One such example of how we do this is our Online Article Tracking Services. (OATS).
In the modern world, as publishers’ content is increasingly digitised, OATS plays a vital role in helping us protect publishers IP. OATS identifies and manages the removal of infringing content republished on commercial and non-commercial sites. Once identified through OATS, we educate infringing domain owners on what can or cannot be copied. We also help infringing domains to seek the relevant permissions and give advice as to how to correctly credit the copyright owner.

In 2015, NLA media access contacted over 750 domains leading to the removal of infringing content from 86% of them. Although there is always more to do, we are proud that we are helping to raise awareness of copyright and IP.

You can learn more about our OATS service here and find out what others are doing to celebrate World IP Day using #WorldIPDay.


NLA Royalties – equivalent to 1500 jobs in journalism

NLA publishers benefited from a record £34m in royalty payments in 2015, an increase of 12% on the previous year. Licensing is an increasingly important source of revenue for publishers in our digitised world. Royalty payments made by NLA to publishers are equivalent to supporting the employment of 1,500 journalists.

In addition to royalty collection and payment to publishers NLA invested 7% of the licence fees it collected in the maintenance and development of database services which serve the media monitoring market.

The company ended 2015 with a strong customer base, an increased portfolio of publishers to represent and clearly defined plans to develop revenues for all publishers. That continues.

As we celebrate our 20th anniversary year, we hope to build on these successes for the next two decades and continue our work in supporting journalism.

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