MONDAY 6 AUG 2012 2:01 PM


On 6 August, the National Licensing Agency (NLA) released an updated code of practice which aims to provide its customers with assurances of transparency in the fee-taking process.

The code has been released in the wake of a recent decision by the Copyright Tribunal which called for greater transparency in the NLA’s fee-taking procedures. The NLA is required to provide more straightforward guidelines about licensing fees for online news content used specifically for business purposes.

The NLA is introducing copyright licensing for media monitoring agencies and their clients after a long-disputed court battle over the legality of the licenses.

The code details the rationale behind charging licensing fees for online newspaper and magazine content. Previous NLA research in 2011 found that its customers were pleased with the ease of acquiring licensing rights, however, nearly 60 per cent found it difficult to understand the fees they were required to pay. This new outlook is an attempt by the NLA to change those perceptions.

The chief executive of the PRCA, Francis Ingham was cautiously optimistic in a press release, “We hope that the NLA’s decision to introduce a Code of Practice is a sincere attempt to change. Over the past 13 years of its existence, the NLA has become a by-word for aggressive and heavy-handed bullying. I hope this is a sign that things are changing.”

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