The clippings feed is in, quick look through, load them onto the website. Copy the pictures from the social pages for the intranet. Copy those headlines for the monthly media report. Yeah, nah.

Routine jobs, right? Probably give them to the junior.

Let's just back up a little.

Load the clippings onto the website? Copying stuff? Copying quotes and headlines? These are things you should not be doing unless you have a copyright licence.

We use the media monitoring people, so we're good to go

Well, that may not actually be the case. Not all media monitors are currently able to provide copyright content to you - whether in printed or digital format. You may be entitled to that email feed but that's also where that right to use the content stops.

Copy, store or distribute those clippings or media reports in any way and you're in potential breach of the Copyright Act.

You can copy stuff off the internet

Of course, you can do this at home and in your own time, but not if you're going to use it at work or send it to colleagues.

Again, you're in potential breach of the Copyright Act.

You might say "everyone does it", but you're still looking at a potential breach.

I can use the media write-up, though?

No. Even if it came from your media release, if it's published in print or online, that publisher owns the rights to it. You or your team may discover content from a website like or from The same rules apply - you'll need a licence if you want to copy, store, email or publish that content.

Copying has many meanings

The official definition includes copying, reproducing, recording, storing (in any medium and by any means), re-transmitting, emailing, faxing, printing, posting on the internet or an intranet site, selling, publishing, distributing or sharing, whether for internal purposes or otherwise.

Understanding copyright

Copyright is automatic. It covers original literary, dramatic, musical or artistic works. The requirement for originality doesn't mean the idea behind the work has to be original, only that the idea is expressed in the work in an original form.

Monitoring and licensing

PMCA is New Zealand's media copyright agency. It provides licences to organisations wanting to use articles from newspapers, magazines and their online versions.

The PMCA administers print and digital copyright licencing for newspaper and magazine publishers across New Zealand. We cover over 160 national and regional/community newspapers and over 120 magazines plus website-only publications. Find out who's on the list.

Some 360 organisations currently hold a PMCA licence - including media monitoring agencies, public relations consultancies and end-user organisations in the commercial, educational, charity and public sectors.

More than 90% of the money from copyright royalties goes back to the publishers to help support journalism.

What you do next

If you think your organisation may be at risk, you may need a PMCA licence covering print and/or electronic content, whether via an app or website.

Everything you need to know is on the PMCA website, you can also find our handy info sheet in the Resource Centre.

Next month

Getting down to the detail.