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PRCA Newspaper Copyright Poll

A survey of MPs on behalf of PRCA.

Date Published: 04 Mar 2010

Categories: Media | Policy Makers | Politics | Technology & Telecoms | UK


The PRCA today released the results of recent research into MPs’ attitudes towards the NLA, undertaken by polling experts ComRes.
ComRes polled their regular panel of MPs, asking them for their views on newspaper copyright, and in particular on the NLA’s proposals to charge for the receipt or forwarding of URLs.
The results show that MPs are likely to oppose the NLA’s plans. Like the PRCA, 46% of MPs agree that organisations should have to buy a licence to distribute links to view online content that newspapers would normally charge for. However, most MPs (65%) say they are against allowing organisations being charged for distributing URLs linking to free-to-view online material.
Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, commented: “These results are clear and unambiguous.  “Like us, MPs agree that copyright should be respected. But like us, they oppose the NLA’s plans to charge for the distribution of URLs to content which is already freely available. This opposition cuts across all political parties.
“We will now be rolling out the next stage of our campaign to derail the NLA’s plans. It centres on good old fashioned political lobbying, and will work to stop the NLA by law where common sense has failed.
“The NLA is an increasingly marginalised commercial organisation, occupying increasingly extremist territory. It should recognise the absurdity of its position and back down with as much dignity as it can still command.”
• A plurality of MPs agree that organisations should pay a license fee if they copy newspaper articles or distribute the URLs of newspaper articles for which the newspaper would normally charge to view (42% and 46% agree respectively).
• On the other hand, 65% of MPs disagree that a license fee should be payable for the distribution of URLs where the Newspaper would not normally charge a fee to view.
• Only a quarter of MPs believe that the NLA should be permitted to levy a license fee on newspaper URLs (26%).
• More than half of MPs agree that measures that potentially limit the circulation of digital data could be detrimental to the development of ‘Digital Britain’ (56%).
ComRes surveyed 151 MPs between 19th October and 16th November 2009 by self-completion postal questionnaire and online. Full data tables are available at

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