These Frequently Asked Questions are intended as a summary guide only. Please refer to other areas of our website, relevant legislation, and the Terms and Conditions of our Licences for more definitive information.

Why do I need a licence from NLI?

You need a licence from NLI if you access and use any copyrighted newspaper or magazine content for commercial purposes. That can include photocopying or scanning of articles, sharing of content via email or intranet, or posting of material on a company website. All this material is under copyright, so you need permission from the copyright owner (the publisher) to use it. That permission comes in the form of a licence from NLI.

But I thought newspaper and magazine content is in the public domain?

It is in the public domain, however it is still under copyright . The publishers who invested in the creation of newspaper or magazine content have the right to (a) commercially benefit from their work and (b) control how that work is used, so you may not copy and distribute their content without permission. That permission comes in the form of a licence from NLI.

What about online news content that is 'free' to access?

Some online news content (e.g. a newspaper website) is ‘free’ to access, however it is still under copyright. Similar to printed copies of a newspaper, you cannot use that material for commercial reasons without the permission of the copyright owner (publisher). That permission comes in the form of a licence from NLI.

What happens if I ignore or decide not to take a licence?

Without a licence from NLI, you do not have permission to access, copy, share or otherwise use copyrighted newspaper and magazine content in a commercial context. If you engage in these activities without a licence from NLI, you may be in breach of copyright law and could be subject to legal proceedings.

What does the law state?

The principal source of copyright law in Ireland is the Copyright & Related Rights Act 2000; this legislation covers most of the activities of NLI including the issuing of licences.

What gives NLI the authority to issue licences?

We are expressly mandated by the newspaper publishers whose work appears in our portfolio to authorise media monitoring and other reproduction on their behalf. We are mandated by the Irish Copyright and Licensing Agency (ICLA) to authorise media monitoring and other reproduction of the magazines whose work appears in our portfolio. NLI is registered with the Patents Office on the Register of Copyright Licensing Bodies.

What if a PR or media monitoring agency provides our press cuttings?

If you have a PR agency or Media Monitoring Organisation working on your behalf, you should notify us – or get them to. In this case, depending on what you do with the material supplied to you, you may not require a licence from NLI. We will be happy to advise.

How are the licence fees calculated?

Licence fees are calculated on the basis of the number of employees in the organisation or, in the case of Media Monitoring Organisations, the number of clients.

Why is the price calculated by the total number of employees when only a few people have access to our clippings?

By basing the licence fee on the total number of employees, it ensures that all employees are then covered to copy, share and use content – even if not all employees access the material directly. Furthermore, as licence tariffs are registered with the Patents Office, individual deals cannot be negotiated but must all be based on employee numbers.

Do charity and not-for-profit organisations require a licence too?

Yes, charities and not-for-profit organisations also require a licence to copy, share or otherwise use copyrighted news content, however a discount may be available for qualifying organisations on request.