Our Code of Practice

Our Commitment to our customers

In all your dealings with the NLA, you can expect us to be:

  • Fair and reasonable.
  • Clear and easy to understand.
  • Timely and responsive: we will respond to your queries within a minimum of 2 workings days and a maximum of 5.
  • Provide a friendly, helpful service whenever and however you need to deal with us.
  • Help you make the right choice of cover for your business, providing a clear product range with simply explained features and charges.
  • We will treat you fairly in relation to other customers in similar circumstances.
  • We will correct any agreed errors as quickly as possible.
  • Any complaints will be dealt with according to our published procedure

Making a complaint

If you are not satisfied with the service you have received from us and feel we have failed in our commitments to you, please follow our formal complaints procedure. It’s designed to be simple and quick.

The procedure can be used if you believe that we have:

  • Failed to follow our procedures, including this Code
  • Charged you incorrectly and failed to rectify the position within a reasonable time
  • Been unprofessional or discourteous towards you
  • Given you wrong or misleading information

Our complaints procedure

All complaints must be made in writing (sent by post or as an electronic attachment to an email) to:

[email protected]


NLA media access,
Mount Pleasant House, Lonsdale Gardens,
Tunbridge Wells, Kent,

The complaint must detail:

  • Your name and address (if an individual)
  • The name and address of your organisation making the complaint and your position within the complainant organisation
  • nature of the complaint

If your complaint is about issues relating to the interpretation or application of copyright law, or about the terms and conditions of our licences or tariffs, we will endeavour to address it. However, if your complaint is more properly dealt with by the Copyright Tribunal, a court or another judicial or regulatory body, we will explain this to you.

What happens once a complaint is lodged?

  • We will acknowledge your complaint within 5 working days of receipt.
  • We will investigate and send a written response within 20 working days of acknowledging receipt of your complaint. During this time we will making an assessment as to whether this complaint is legitimate and falls within the scope of this Code.
  • We may request further information to enable us to consider the complaint. If the request for further information adds additional time to our response time of 20 working days (such as waiting to receive the information from you), we will let you know.
  • You will then have a further 20 working days to comment on the response.
  • We will then provide a final written response within a further 15 working days.
  • If you remain dissatisfied with our response, you should write to the Managing Director.
  • The Managing Director will confirm or vary the earlier response, or advise you of any further actions being taken regarding your complaint and the timescales.
  • If we are unable to resolve your complaint, we agree to enter into mediation in good faith with you to settle the dispute and will do so in accordance with the Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution (CEDR) Model Mediation Procedure. Unless otherwise agreed between us, the mediator will be nominated by CEDR.

Write to

Managing Director, NLA media access
Mount Pleasant House, Lonsdale Gardens
Tunbridge Wells, Kent,

Contacting you – what to expect

Our aim is to ensure that all businesses and organisations wishing to use news related content have the right licence to do so. We will contact organisations that do not have a licence to see if they need one and to advise accordingly. Because we do not always know if an organisation needs a licence, we may contact users by telephone and mail and may request that your media monitoring agency contact you on our behalf, if we have not been able to get in contact directly.

By answering a number of simple questions on our website an organisation can determine whether a licence is required. Please note that you are entitled to a 28 day trial of a media monitoring service without a licence obligation, however if you subscribe to the service following the trial, a licence is required.

If you advise the NLA that you are not using our publishers’ content, we may ask you to sign a ‘declaration’ to that effect and will not contact you again for at least 18 months. However, we may contact you sooner, if we have cause to believe that you have been using our publishers’ content and do not have a valid licence to do so. If this is the case we will explain clearly our reasons for doing so.

Information about our licences

We will give you the information you need to enable you to make an informed choice about whether or not to take out our licence; and/or, if you want to use works from our represented publishers, what the terms of such licence are. This includes the provision of a quote and fee breakdown which shows the level of cover you have requested. Only when the licence quote and terms have been accepted by you will a licence and associated invoice be raised.

We will place our licensing schemes, tariffs and other standard contractual terms on our website and provide hard copies for all new licence applicants on request. For further information you can contact one of our dedicated new and existing licensee enquiry teams

If you have an existing licence

Once you have a licence, we will contact you annually to review your newspaper usage with you and to advise on your licence fees for the next period.

Your licence agreement will always include all the terms and conditions of the licence we grant you, or if it refers to other documents, we will provide these documents on request at any time.

To complete your annual review we will contact you by telephone and email and we are happy to visit your offices to explain and advise on the best licence options. At your annual review, please tell us if your licence use was more or less than you planned during your previous licence year and we will adjust your charges if appropriate. The same applies for the forthcoming year.

If you do not provide us with details of your estimate of use for the forthcoming year, we may estimate your use based on information available to us and license and invoice you accordingly.

We have a range of licences for internal and external use. Please advise us of the use required and we will quote and advise accordingly

If you change your mind about a licence

You have the right to cancel your licence request at any time before the licence is granted. Please note that even if you have completed an application form and then cancel, you will not be charged.

Payment terms

The NLA accepts payment on invoice payable within 30 days. We can also accept payment by credit or debit card over the telephone. If we agree that you are due a refund, or that we will issue you with a credit note, you should expect payment or your credit note within a maximum of 30 days or earlier on request.

During the term of your licence

Additional cover can be added part way through the year and is charged on a pro-rata basis. From time to time we may also contact you if we have been advised that your circumstances have changed – e.g commenced a media monitoring service.

Under the terms of end user licences (5.10), we have the right to ask an independent accountant to inspect your compliance records on your premises. The accountant shall be entitled to inspect the records, computers and business arrangements of the licensee and to verify if they are in compliance with the terms of the licence.

The Licenses

NLA licences permit copying from UK national and regional newspapers, plus certain specialist foreign and magazine titles.

Subject to certain Terms & Conditions, this includes paper copying (photocopying, faxing and printing), digital copying (scanning, emailing and hosting on an intranet site) and the receipt and distribution of content received from a PR or licensed media monitoring agency.

Copying can be undertaken on an occasional or frequent basis in both paper and digital formats, where elected. We also introduced a new licence which gives companies the right to post newspaper articles on their corporate websites.

NLA representation

In the digital age, publishers rely upon income from copyright to ensure their business are healthy, journalists are properly remunerated for their work and that we have a vibrant, free press that is of benefit to everyone.

The NLA currently represents over 1400 newspaper and specialist titles and the full repertoire can be found on the NLA website. The Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988, gives creators of certain types of work, including newspapers the exclusive right to do and to authorise the doing of certain acts, in relation to their work. Rights holders entrust these rights to collecting societies such as the NLA to manage on their behalf and for its part the NLA exists to help its members focus on their creative work by managing their copyright for them. We do this by asking members to give us the legal authority to grant copying licences on their behalf and to collect licence fees due for the uses of their work. Members also tell us if there are any particular restrictions on uses and we will tell our customers if this is the case.

The NLA currently licenses over 200,000 organisations ranging from large government bodies, plcs, and limited companies to partnerships and public relations agencies. The NLA has 4 main functions:

  • Licenses companies, public bodies and partnerships to copy from national, regional and specialist newspaper titles in both paper and digital formats.
  • Collects fees from licensed users for this copying
  • Distributes fees collected to publishers. Since inception the NLA has distributed more than £190m in royalties to represented rightsholders.
  • In addition to acting as a collecting society the NLA also has a database/IT business responsible for the management and creation of newspaper databases and IT platforms designed to assist media monitoring agencies deliver relevant content to their clients, efficiently and cost effectively.

Valuing of rights and pricing

The NLA tariffs reflect the value of the IP rights being licensed and economic modelling (carried out by independent economic consultants), is used to derive the appropriate levels for each activity. The most common methods for valuing IP rights are on an Economic Benefits or Comparable Royalties basis. All tariffs are agreed with publishers and reviewed annually. In addition, and where relevant the NLA consults industry bodies such as UKMMA, CIPR, PRCA.

In exceptional cases, where we are unable to agree terms, our licence or tariff may be set by the Copyright Tribunal. Unless a term has been ordered by the Copyright Tribunal, in which case it may only be varied by that body, we reserve the right to review and make changes to our licensing terms and conditions, including licensing fees, from time to time. If we propose to make material changes, we notify affected customers and/or their appropriate trade association about any consultation process we intend to conduct.

Your obligations as a copyright user

It is your responsibility to ensure you have an up to date licence (or direct publisher permission) if you are using clippings in a commercial, government, educational or not- for-profit environment.

When you take out a licence with us, your rights and obligations will be set out in the standard terms and conditions. The NLA covers both internal copying of news content and external republication on corporate websites.

When you accept the NLA licence terms you are agreeing to pay the NLA fees and any backdated or indemnity fees where applicable.

You are obliged to provide accurate and current data to the NLA to assist in the assessment of your licence needs and fees and to advise which corporate, or other entities, you wish to cover under your licence

Other activities of the NLA

The NLA serves the needs of media monitoring service providers through its suite of database services including eClips, and eClips Web. If you are receiving electronic alerts and digital clips – they more than likely come from the 14 UK press cutting agencies using the service in the UK

Corporate responsibility

The NLA supports a number of key initiatives in the wider newspaper industry, including:

Promoting newspapers in schools, the NLA’s News Library service is a free online service giving schools online access to newspaper content.

The Journalist Diversity Fund is designed to help students from diverse backgrounds to train as journalists. Now in its fifth year, the JDF has provided bursaries for over 100 aspiring journalists with NLA donations totalling over£1,200,000 to date.

The NLA is supplying the RNIB with a daily feed of text from over 80 newspaper titles. RNIB optimise this content for visually impaired access. the NLA’s centralised delivery ensures that content is made available earlier, more reliably and in a consistent format.

Anticipating the recommendations of the Hargreaves Review, the NLA has supported and funded ACAP in developing rights management. Automated Content Access Protocol provides content owners with a tool to enable them to manage their copyright terms and conditions online.

About the NLA code

This Code of Practice relates to the licensing activities of the NLA media access. The purpose of the code to measure, maintain and raise standards of conduct in our dealings with users.We have put in place steps to monitor our adherence to your satisfaction with the NLA and this Code and will publish information about our performance against the Code at regular intervals.