CLA and NLA to work on closer harmonisation of licensing terms for universities

Out-Law News | 09 Sep 2013 | 3:00 pm | 1 min. read

Two licensing bodies have pledged to closer harmonise the terms on which they separately allow universities to make use of their content.

The Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA) and NLA media access (NLA), which was formerly called the Newspaper Licensing Agency, made the announcement as the bodies outlined plans to work closer together to help "streamline and simplify copyright licensing for UK schools and higher education". 

Under the partnership, universities will be able to buy NLA licenses through the CLA from next year. Existing NLA licenses owned by universities will be transferred to be under the management of the CLA from August 2014. 

"This single point of contact and centralised administration is expected to save licensees effort," the licensing agencies said in a joint statement. "The partnership will begin with the CLA selling NLA media access licences alongside its own, but both parties will work towards a closer harmonisation of licence terms to make copyright licensing easier for clients in the education sector." 

A range of organisations in the education, Government and private sectors pay a licence fee to the CLA in order to access and use material from content creators such as authors and publishers that appear in UK published books, journals, magazines and other periodicals as well as a range of overseas published titles. 

The NLA was set up be a number of newspaper groups to help manage the licensing of their content to PR agencies, media monitoring companies and businesses. 

“Newspapers are putting users first and trying to simplify copyright administration by giving educational establishments a single point of contact for licensing news and other text," David Pugh, managing director of NLA media access, said in the bodies' statement. "The industry-led Copyright Hub project has underlined the importance of making compliance easy. By working in partnership with CLA we aim to reduce the time and effort spent on paperwork and allow licence users more time to teach." 

CLA chief executive Kevin Fitzgerald said: "The arrangement will draw on the advantages of CLA’s well developed networks for licensing higher education to deliver real benefits for users and rights holders alike."