New licence hoping to remove at least some cuttings concerns for PR agencies

PR agencies that are uncertain about whether they are legitimately sending cuttings of content to their clients – or are instead breaching copyright – may soon face less of a legal minefield, with the introduction of a new licence.

Being operated by the Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd, the licence – currently being operated on a trial basis – is aimed at removing some of the anxieties about passing on cuttings.

The CLA deals with material from books, journals and magazines (in both print and digital form), while a different organisation, the Newspaper Licensing Agency, deals with, mainly, newspaper content.

Says the CLA: “Until now, CLA has not had a licence tailored to the needs of PR, marketing and communications agencies and therefore those firms have been very restricted in their ability to legitimately distribute clippings from the media to their clients. CLA’s new Media Consultancy Licence offers these agencies a simple and reliable way of gaining the necessary permission to share media clippings with clients.”

Says a media release announcing the initiative: “The new Media Consultancy Licence is available as an add-on to the existing CLA Business Licence and replaces any informal arrangements previously in place. The licence frees communications agencies from the risk of copyright infringement when making and sending copies of articles or news items to their clients.

“The licence additionally covers the sending of web-links and snippets as well as content supplied to PR agencies by media monitoring organisations, allowing them to maximise the value of their subscriptions to such monitoring services.

“The licence has been developed in response to customer demand and has been informed by a CLA survey of licensed firms, in which 97 per cent of PR and communications firms that responded confirmed that they send content externally to clients at some point each year. Many agencies that fall into this category may not be aware that sending items of published content externally without the Media Consultancy Licence could expose them to the risk of copyright infringement.”

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Read more about what the CLA and NLA each offer, here.