"New copyright licence fee structure a welcome first step in the right direction" – says CIPR

The Chartered Institute for Public Relations (CIPR) has welcomed the development of a new optional simplified licence fee structure by NLA Media Access for public relations consultancies, launched today.

In January 2015, the NLA approached the CIPR to consult on a new licence for public relations agencies following a proposal brought forward to the NLA by Coast Communications. Upon reviewing the licence, the CIPR – through its member-led Policy & Campaigns Committee – challenged the NLA to develop a more simplified structure. This was as a result of extensive feedback from members that the current licensing arrangements had resulted in monitoring and maintaining copyright compliance being an "undue burden" on the time and resources of PR business owners.

The CIPR has produced FAQs for members (PDF) on the new 'PR Client Service licence', which is optional for all consultancies from today. Further guidance on recommended licencing arrangements is also available via the CIPR website.

Matt Appleby Chart.PR, FCIPR, CIPR Board Director and Chair of the CIPR Policy & Campaigns Committee and MD of Golley Slater PR
This new simplified structure for PR agencies is a welcome first step in the right direction in addressing the complexities of copyright licensing in the UK.

After receiving repeated and regular feedback from members concerning the complication of newspaper licensing, I am pleased the Institute has been able to challenge NLA Media Access to cut the red tape without passing the cost on to licence holders.

The CIPR’s position on copyright is clear, if copyright is being used in the course of business, members must pay their dues, yet a growing number of collection societies that offer a host of complex licensing structures have muddied the waters.

This doesn’t just create uncertainty for agencies, in-house teams and clients in understanding and projecting annual costs, but has also resulted in an air of suspicion that is unhelpful to all parties involved.

Moving forward, growth in public relations should not be held back by business overheads that are failing to keep up with the pace of innovation and change in our own sector. A simplified licensing settlement for PR professionals and for rightsholders that results in all forms of copyright being paid where they are due, in a timely and efficient manner, must be a shared goal.

It is to this end that we will be writing to John Alty, Chief Executive the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) and Tim Suter, Chair of the IPO’s Copyright Advisory Panel, with an invite to discuss issues of common interest.
Matt Appleby Chart.PR, FCIPR, CIPR Board Director and Chair of the CIPR Policy & Campaigns Committee and MD of Golley Slater PR
Notes to editors

Notes to editors

About the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR)Founded in 1948, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) is the Royal Chartered professional body for public relations practitioners in the UK and overseas. The CIPR is the largest membership organisation for PR practitioners outside of North America. By size of turnover and number of individually registered members, we are the leading representative body for the PR profession and industry in Europe.

The CIPR advances professionalism in public relations by making its members accountable to their employers and the public through a code of conduct and searchable public register, setting standards through training, qualifications, awards and the production of best practice and skills guidance, facilitating Continuing Professional Development (CPD), and awarding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner status (Chart.PR).