Introduction to Scoop’s Ethical Paywall
Scoop’s open source approach to the publication of news - publishing releases for free and providing free public access to our archive - provides a high level of value to the businesses who routinely use Scoop.
Via Scoop thousands of businesses and organisations in NZ can freely expose their communications to a wide and influential audience of 500,000 monthly users as well as gain access to a stream of real-time actionable information, much of which is not available from any other source.
But most importantly - Scoop’s free services are more valuable to the businesses and organisations who routinely use them, because they are free:
• If Scoop were to charge for the publication of releases we wouldn’t have a comprehensive set of all the day’s press releases.
• And if Scoop were to charge for access to the Scoop.co.nz website it would reduce the visibility of the releases.
In addition Scoop’s stated mission “to be an agent of positive change” would be greatly diminished if Scoop used a conventional paywall system to try to recover the cost of our valuable free services.
For both of these reasons Scoop intends to maintain a free publication policy and to maintain free access to all its content for the public.
However to recover the costs of providing the service we need to charge someone - and limiting commercial use to organisations which are licence holders seems the most elegant solution.
Read more about:
A Scoop end user licence [Scoop Organisation Licence] is required for any organisation (public or private) to access, read or circulate Scoop content where the content is being used for commercial purposes.
Commercial purposes are defined as when people in the organisation routinely use Scoop as part of their work e.g. reading Scoop, forwarding part/full texts of Scoop content to colleagues or others, within the context of their job.
Scoop provides access to a wide variety of content
•The Database has in excess of 700,000 accessible items
•With content from over 25,000 sources
•Database is fully searchable with archives dating back to 1999
•Includes Press Releases, Editorial Content, Multimedia and more
•All available from one central online independent source
A Scoop Organisation Licence allows unlimited access to Scoop for every person in your organisation from all of their internet connected devices both inside your building and on the move (eg via a mobile network). Scoop content may then be circulated within the organisation, copied, used for internal reports, downloaded and stored on the organisation’s computers, for the duration of the licence.
Scoop also delivers more customised services and tailored News Feeds to media, websites, intranets in a variety of formats. These news feeds for commercial publishing to websites, blogs and intranets are available with a range of options for small to large requirements; each feed has customised content tailored for your audience. For more information or offline publishing options contact the Scoop Syndication team.
Scoop’s Ethical Paywall - The Legal Framework
Since 2012 Scoop’s terms and conditions have clearly stated that commercial use of Scoop content requires the purchase of a Scoop Organisation Licence.
Commercial is defined as: “companies, organisations, institutions, partnerships, government departments, associations and societies, trusts and other entities, whether registered or unregistered, private or public, and whether for profit or not for profit that use Scoop Content in any professional capacity.”
And use is defined as: “encompasses, but is not limited to, downloading, sharing, e-mailing, direct linking, copying, reading, extracting, scraping, selling content, by employees, workers, agents or automated devices, or anything else what-so-ever that could be reasonably held to violate Scoop’s copyright pursuant to applicable copyright law and Scoop’s limitations of use.”
Scoop’s Ethical (Invisible) Paywall - The Practical Implications
This is perhaps most easily understood if one considers the counter-factual. If our paywall was not invisible - like for example the one at NBR - then it might be possible for someone to get around it and into our website and read the content.
Were they to do so then they would be clearly breaching our terms and conditions of use.
In NBR’s case they are providing a barrier to enforce their paywall. In Scoop’s case however because we want to maintain free public access we are operating more on an honesty box principle. I.E. If upon honest reflection you or your organisation is using Scoop in a professional capacity then you ought to purchase a licence.
In the alternative if you decide that you do not want anyone in your organisation to access Scoop professionally you are free to put in place a firewall at your end to block access.
For Scoop’s part we reserve the right to block users of Scoop who we have deemed to be commercial users of Scoop, who have been asked to comply with Scoop’s terms, and who refuse to do so.