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Can you share press coverage on social media?

Updated: Apr 29

A pile of newspapers

You’ve just secured coverage in a top-tier national and you can’t wait to shout about it! But before you start spreading the word all over socials, there are a few things you need to know. 

Share the news in the wrong way without the right media licence or permissions, and you may find yourself being faced with big fines. Don’t panic! There are a few ways to share your well-earned coverage on social media in an appropriate and compliant manner. 

Media Licencing – A Rundown 

The UK has two main media licensing agencies – the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) and the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). 

The NLA and CLA promote fair and responsible use of copied content to support journalism and simplify copyright laws. They work on behalf of the UK’s newspaper and magazine publishers to ensure copyright legislation compliance. 

This means that businesses, including PR agencies, are unable to share any part of articles monitored by these licensing agencies without a license. 

What do NLA and CLA licences cover?

The NLA licenses organisations to make paper and digital copies of newspaper, magazine and news website content while the CLA licenses the use of published material in print and digital formats, including books, journals, magazines, and websites.

What is the difference between NLA and CLA?

The CLA and NLA are separate licensing agencies covering compliance across separate repertoires of published work in the UK. More importantly, there is no crossover in the publications covered by CLA and NLA licences. 

Despite this, if your company prints, shares, saves, or makes copies of any published content from magazines, newspapers or websites, you might need both licences to ensure you’re abiding by copyright best practices.

If you want to find out what each licence covers, check out the CLA’s useful comparison table

So, what can’t you share?

Let’s say you pitch an original story to a journalist and they publish the story on an online news publication covered by the NLA or CLA. Despite pitching the story in the first place, the content is now protected by their copyright and you are not allowed to share any content from the article without a licence, including:

  • Imagery

  • Screenshots

  • Excerpts or quotes

  • Headlines or sub-headings 

How to share coverage without a media licence

While you’re not allowed to share coverage published on NLA or CLA-protected publications in the formats listed above, all is not lost! You can still share the coverage on your social channels, on your website, and even via email as long as you’re careful. 

Simply share the URL of the coverage. 

This is a simple yet effective way of sharing your coverage without breaching any copyright laws. 

It’s important to note that sometimes a URL will automatically generate a snippet of the page, often containing a teaser image, headline or excerpt. Make sure you remove this before sharing or posting the URL on your social channels. 

Share a relevant image and post a summary.

You could also share a relevant image such as the product being discussed in the article and summarise the article in your own words. Just make sure you own the rights to the image and that it is different to any image used in the published coverage. 

Do you need a CLA and NLA licence?

If you decide that you want to share more than just a URL or a summary, you should consider getting a copyright licence.   

The CLA and NLA manage thousands of UK publications so the likelihood of securing coverage on some of those sites is high if you’re regularly conducting PR activity. That said, there are also plenty of online and offline publications that are not managed by those licencing agencies, allowing you to share any published coverage on your socials without worry. 

You can use the CLA’s permission checker and the NLA’s title search tool to see if the publication featuring your news/story is managed by them.

There are a range of different licences you can choose from depending on how you’re using or sharing coverage whether internally or externally. 

If you’re using a PR agency with the appropriate licences, for example, you’ll likely be covered to receive content from them. When it comes to sharing or using that content internally (eg. on your Google Drive or in a company presentation) or externally (eg. on your website or social channels), you will need your own licence(s) to do so. 

NLA Licence Types

  • Simplified Licence – Designed for both occasional and frequent internal copying needs, this licence provides the same cover as the current Business and Web End User Licence.

  • Business Licence – Suitable for occasional and frequent internal copying needs.

  • Corporate Website Republishing Licence – Allows you to republish articles on your website.

  • Extended & Indefinite Access – Enables you to stay connected to the content your Media Monitoring Organization sends you for longer periods.

  • Public Relations Licences – Specifically designed for PR agencies, this licence allows them to share NLA-covered content to clients, in whatever format the client requires. 

  • Education Establishment – Supplied by the CLA, this licence permits eligible educational establishments to copy and reuse print and digital news content.

  • Web End User Licence – Suitable for clients of Media Monitoring organisations

  • Charity Licence – Designed for registered charities that copy digital and print NLA-covered content

For more information about which NLA licence(s) you’ll need, visit the NLA’s website.

CLA Licence Types

  • Business Licence – Designed for businesses and charities, this licence allows members of staff to make copies from any CLA-covered print or online publication. 

  • Public Sector Licence – Suitable for any public sector employee from government employees to NHS staff, this licence enables them to make copies from CLA-covered print or online publications. 

  • Schools Licence – Specifically designed for schools, this licence gives schools blanket permissions to copy and reuse content from print and online publications.

  • Further Education Licence – Provides Further Education Establishments with blanket permissions to copy and reuse content from print and online publications.

  • Higher Education Licence – Provides Higher Education Establishments with access to other CLA-developed tools and services, including the Digital Content Store (DCS).

For more information about which CLA licence(s) you’ll need, visit the CLA’s website

How do I get a copyright license?

Once you’ve figured out which licence(s) you need, simply visit the relevant media licencing agency’s website and follow the next steps. 

How much is an NLA or CLA copyright license?

We hate to say it, but it depends. The overall cost of a media licence can vary depending on the type of licence, size of your business, number of users, and more. 

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