NLA media access Ltd. (NLA) and The Copyright Licensing Agency Ltd. (CLA) last month announced a partnership that aims to “streamline and simplify copyright licensing for UK schools and higher education”.
NLA is owned by newspaper publishers and licenses newspaper content (and online versions of that content) typically to PR agencies, media monitoring companies and businesses. CLA is owned by authors and publishers and licenses the use of material from books, journals, magazines and periodicals. Educational institutions such as universities and colleges often obtain blanket licences for the copying material for educational use, however currently they need to contact separate organisations to arrange the licences.
The UK has been reviewing its intellectual property regime over the past few years and in July 2012 the Intellectual Property Office published an independent report on streamlining copyright licensing for the digital age. The report by Richard Hooper CBE and Dr Ros Lynch noted that copyright licensing for educational institutions was too complicated and recommended that licensing agencies work together to address the problem.
The two licensing bodies have now committed to put users first and to harmonise the licensing system for educational institutions. NLA has agreed to appoint CLA as its exclusive agent for educational licensing in the UK. Under the new system users will be able to seek licences for their use of copyrighted material from the CLA alone. From August 2014 all existing NLA licences for higher education institutions will transfer to CLA.
Richard Hooper has praised the initiative taken by the licensing bodies, commenting “This is exactly the sort of initiative that Ros Lynch and I were looking for from the education sector. It removes another layer of complexity to educational licensing. Bravo!”