THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Are the IPR and the PRCA right to take the NLA to the Copyright Tribunal?

The long-running dispute over licences to copy press cuttings has moved into the legal arena

The long-running dispute over licences to copy press cuttings has

moved into the legal arena

Susan Osborne

Cancer Research Campaign

’It will be a real blow to us if the NLA insists on across the board

charges. Charities like ours rely on free and easy access to information

about the work we do which appears in the press. It keeps our staff and

volunteers motivated and clued up in a way we could never hope to


I for one applaud the stand being taken and hope for a satisfactory


Ian Williamson

National Housing Federation

’We find the licensing system bureaucratic, difficult to understand and

full of anomalies. For instance, when is a charity not a charity to

qualify for exemption? We have a press cuttings service, which pays

fees, but we do not duplicate the cuttings - we write digests of them -

so we avoid being liable. But in the internet age, when newspapers are

available free, what role does the NLA have?’

Tony Tighe

Mere Communications

’I think they are right. The PR industry is too well established to face

these charges. PR people and the media should be working together but

the NLA’s behaviour is a bit penny pinching. But perhaps this will make

us look at cuttings issues, realising they’re not the be all and end

all. The PRCA and IPR are definitely right, that’s what they’re there


Mark Fletcher

Coventry City Council

’Yes, it’s right to take action on this. In the end, any money we give

to the NLA is money not used on public services. And it’s our job to

make sure we get the most out of the public money we spend for local

people. Licence Form A directly penalises public services - simply

because we have a large number of employees.’

Richard Elsen

Ludgate Communications

’There can be no doubt that the aggressive and apparently intransigent

stance shown by the NLA to date required a robust response. As the media

grows increasingly electronic by the day, so the number of grey areas

that surround the matter of cuttings also increase; it is for this

reason that proper negotiation is important. But above all, we must all

work to resolve this situation, because nothing is more harmful to PR,

and ultimately to the media, than bad blood between the two.’

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