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The Newspaper Licensing Agency is warning news monitoring companies to sign its new content licensing agreement before the January 1 deadline at which it comes in to force – or they may face its legal action.
NLA’s shareholders — News International, Mirror Group Newspapers, Telegraph Media Group, Express Newspapers, Associated Newspapers, Independent News & Media and Guardian News & Media — write in an open letter that “businesses seeking to make money by selling access to our content without our agreement are not entitled to do so“.
They add that they, if anyone doesn’t sign up, they “will contest their position by all available means, including technical measures and legal process where necessary.”
The NLA says that the main British aggregators have willingly signed the terms, including Digital Media Services, Durrants, MediaGen, Precise Media, Press Data, PressIndex and the WPP-owned TNS Media Intelligence. Some international agencies are on board too such as Norway’s OPoint. But some — less than a third of the market, NLA says — are holding out and haven’t signed the deal.
The NLA tells us these include Meltwater and Newsnow, whose MD Struan Bartlett wrote in an open letter last month that the newspaper biz should stop its legal threats and be glad more people are reading news stories as a result of monitoring services like his. Bartlett didn’t return our request for comment.
The new licence is designed to redistribute some of the revenue generated by agencies selling tailored feeds of their content — the NLA estimates that companies like Newsnow make a combined annual revenue of £10 million, of which the NLA’s shareholders wants 10 percent. This is the first time aggregators have been included in the NLA’s licensing regime — the agency makes clear it’s aim is to “legitimise” the monitoring industry.
The Financial Times is also an NLA shareholder but is sitting out this round of aggregator-chasing and did not sign the publishers’ letter because it has its own, separate licensing agreement.
Disclosure: paidContent:UK’s parent company ContentNext Media is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Guardian News & Media.