Last month we were contacted by the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which is owned by the UK’s national newspapers. It wanted to sell us a ‘newspaper copyright licence’. The licence would ensure that we become “copyright protected”.
Apparently we need a licence if we share press cuttings internally. It also applies to links shared that include “text extracts to explain what the link is”.
A licence is also required for photocopying newspaper content, scanning and email cuttings, printing from a newspaper’s website, cutting and emailing text from a newspaper website, and putting any cuttings on our website.
Much of this doesn’t apply to our organisation, but we want to make sure that we’re operating in an ethical manner and are keen to abide by the rules.
The issue is that the rules are:
b) self-defeating, and…
c) being set by people who aren’t really in any position to set them.
Let me explain.