Opinion: From our Readers - Web licences follow 18 months' consultation

It is disappointing that the PRCA continues to promote a misleading view of the NLA's licences for paid-for monitoring of newspaper web content (Letters, 22 January).

The casual reader would assume the NLA has imposed licensing without consultation and in the face of vehement customer resistance. The facts are rather different, if less sensational.

Web-monitoring licences result from 18 months' consultation with the media monitoring industry. Their final design reflects a high level of engagement at individual company and trade association level - although not with the PRCA, which opted to gesture from the touchline.

The major UK media monitoring companies have accepted web licences because they respect copyright and want fair competition from all players in the market.

The vast majority of client companies responding to the NLA recognise publishers deserve a fair price for use of their content - and simply want to know what to do and how charges will affect them.

While confident the Copyright Tribunal will find web licensing fair and reasonable, we regret any uncertainty the process may cause.

The NLA will continue to work with the industry to enable vital information services while delivering a fair return to publishers.

- David Pugh, MD, NLA.

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