Thanks to the NMA efforts which have resulted in a cease and desist notice being sent to LexisNexis/Moreover (see links below), there is an opportunity to, after so many attempts, actually establish a collective industry framework for protecting publishers IP rights BUT if, as has been the norm in the past, the individual publishers who signed the Cease and Desist notice negotiate individually the opportunity will be lost and the messaging to the marketplace will not be seen as an industry wide stance. This collective framework can be a repeatable process to be used with any number of other infringing groups with the NMA committee as the coordinator duopoly included.
I view this collective IP Compliance Framework as having 4 parts: First is the identification and investigation; Second would be the notification; Third would be the negotiation and discovery dance. Finally would be the consummation of a licensing agreement. The idea would be to have communications and process steps preapproved by the participants to minimize the need for resource allocation by those participants.
The fact that each of the License League participating publishers has already established a per customer price for licensing through LLI avoids the issue of anti-trust.
I would like to stress that this is not just about the members of the News Media Alliance nor just news publishers. It is about any publisher of content being used in the BtoB marketplace and, make no mistake, your content is being used as it is the foundation for the Public Relations current awareness services sold to thousands of communications professionals worldwide. Voicing your support of this initiative to the NMA and to Lexis is highly recommended. Paul Boyle heads up this effort for the NMA as the director of the NMA Legal Affairs committee.
The business to business secondary use of content is an extremely complex marketplace. The use cases and models for analysing audience impact which is at the heart of the use are as varied and obtuse as can be imagined mostly with the goal of appearing to be compliant which they are not. Making a copy of your content into a database for commercial purposes is an infringing act and this is what needs to be focused on. AP v. Meltwater established this process is not transformative. The number of end user companies that have access to your content is the gating factor. Keep in mind that the ever increasing use of these content databases is to produce analytical reports on the audience impact with the end customer never seeing the content. The royalty needs to be paid just to have the content available to be accessed and not necessarily the various products built upon the database.
I need to remind all of you League members that the meagre royalties coming from LLI are the result of a significant lack to appetite in the marketplace for compliance. This is a billion dollar market that is virtually untapped.