FIR Interview: David Pugh, Managing Director, Newspaper Licensing Agency

screenhandpapers A topic that has produced passionate and some polarized opinion in the PR community in the UK in recent months is that of paying for a license if you use copyrighted digital content for commercial gain.

From next January, anyone copying and supplying UK newspaper web content to others for a fee – monitoring or press clippings agencies to PR agencies, for instance, and from those PR agencies to their clients – must acquire a license in the UK.

The organization behind the new system is the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which licences the use of traditional (printed) content from over 1,400 UK newspaper titles by 180,000 companies.

To put this is some financial perspective, the total amount collected by the NLA last year for all licensing was over £24.2 million (about $40.4 million or €27.6 million at current exchange rates), according to the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations.

In this FIR Interview podcast, Neville Hobson summarizes the background to the NLA’s plans, sets the scene with a perspective on the bigger-picture changes in the mainstream media business, and asks NLA Managing Director David Pugh to clearly outline what the new licensing scheme for professional web monitoring is all about.

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About David Pugh

David Pugh David Pugh joined the Newspaper Licensing Agency in 2007, to continue the evolution of the core licensing business and to manage the development of the eClips database of newspaper content. The eClips database now supplies content from 150 titles directly to press cuttings agencies, enabling timely delivery of high-quality press cuttings to PR professionals.

In his first year at the NLA, David has focused on increasing the customer-focus of the organisation and increasing the speed at which it delivers services that are valuable to the media monitoring sector. New digital licences were launched in 2008, giving further rights and a choice of payment options to licensees. Further work is in progress to respond to make the licensing process easier and clearer for licensees. ClipSearch – a digital search tool that will enable PR professionals to search the NLA’s eClips database of newspaper content – also launched in 2008: to be followed by further new services that expand access to UK newspaper content in 2009 and 2010.

David joined the NLA from the outdoor advertising industry, where he was Chief Executive of Titan and Chairman of the Outdoor Advertising Association. During his time in the poster industry, he launched the ground-breaking Transvision network of digital posters, in association with the BBC and Network Rail. He is a former Marketing Director of the Telegraph Group, where career highlights included the launches of Fantasy Football and Electronic Telegraph, making the Telegraph the first UK newspaper to have an online presence. Prior to joining The Telegraph Group, David worked in the mobile telecommunications industry, launching the first range of cellular mobile phones for British Telecom.

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This FIR Interview is brought to you with Lawrence Ragan Communications, serving communicators worldwide for 35 years. Information:

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(Cross-posted from For Immediate Release, Shel’s and my podcast blog.)

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

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