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Newspaper Publishers Launch New Copyright Agency

Newspaper Publishers Launch New Copyright Agency

Fees for the commercial right to copy newspaper and magazine articles are to be charged by a new agency, the Print Media Copyright Agency (PMCA).

The agency has been established by the Newspaper Publishers’ Association (NPA) and will enable organisations to copy articles legitimately from all New Zealand daily newspapers and a wide variety of additional print media titles.

The move brings New Zealand newspapers and magazines into line with overseas practice and also with the music and book publishing industries, which have organised collection of copyright, licence fees for many years.

“Organisations in the corporate and government sector have widely copied intellectual property from newspapers. With the launch of the PMCA, they now have an efficient, cost effective way to ensure their copying does not infringe the rights of publishers that are enshrined in the Copyright Act”, says NPA Chief Executive, Lincoln Gould.

“The establishment of the PMCA follows several years of investigation by the newspaper industry and extensive discussions with interested parties.”, says Gould.

The NPA has founded the model for its new licensing body on the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA, http:// http://www.nla.co.uk) in the United Kingdom, which has operated successfully since 1996.

The model the PMCA has chosen is to licence organisations based on the number of people employed. This approach minimises compliance costs for users, ensuring the cost of having a licence is kept at a reasonable level”, says PMCA Manager, Matthew Harman.

"PMCA licences will enable organisations to photocopy, fax and electronically disseminate clippings through email or Intranet. The cost will vary depending on the type of copying done and the publications licensed. As an illustration, an organisation with 100 staff would pay an annual fee of $720 to photocopy and fax articles from the PMCA's repertoire of daily and national (non-business) newspapers. A licence allowing photocopying and the ability to circulate digital copies would increase the total cost to $1,440 per year. Full details are available from http:// http://www.pmca.co.nz", says Harman.

“The main market for PMCA licences will be organisations that are distributing copies internally. However, the PMCA will also licence press clipping bureaus, who up to now, have had no way to fully legitimise their businesses”, says Harman.

“We believe most organisations will accept that the introduction of the PMCA is a long overdue correction of a grey area regarding the use and dissemination of newspaper and magazine articles”, says Gould.

The PMCA has employed a sales team to market the licences, which will be active from this week.

“As New Zealand works towards developing an information and knowledge-based economy, it is vital that our intellectual property is fairly valued. The PMCA will help make that happen”, says Gould.

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