How Scoop's “Ethical Paywall” Model Has Changed Everything

Published: Fri 12 Jun 2015 02:04 PM

Scoop Operation Chrysalis Update #6
How Scoop's “Ethical Paywall” Copyright Licensing Model Has Changed Everything
Scoop Independent News
Press Release - For Immediate Publication
12th June 2015
From Alastair Thompson Editor and Publisher of Scoop
In the last two months, has won an important victory for new media, one which it is now confident can secure the future of its much loved, and much used, New Zealand news source.
This week Scoop is celebrating its 16th year of curation of New Zealand’s "National Debate".
And in the past month has had a major commercial breakthrough.
As of this month, a broad range of professional organisations, including constitutional institutions, government agencies & departments, NGOs, Unions, CRIs, law firms, PR agencies, accountancy firms, media organisations, libraries and businesses - all of which make regular use of Scoop in their daily work and for professional research - have joined Scoop’s new “Ethical Paywall” copyright licensing scheme. Some have actively embraced the idea.
In doing so these organisations have agreed that they should be paying a licence to use Scoop in a professional context and comply with Scoop’s published copyright Terms of Use.
Many of the organisations who are now on board have signed up since Scoop launched its first public sales drive for its new licensing services on April the 29th.

Scoop's 16th Virtual Birthday Cake is NZ’s leading independent news provider and serves a mixture of news, analysis and real-time press releases to a readership of 500,000 online users each month. Founded in June 1999, Scoop features the most comprehensive database of publicly available original news in NZ (all indexed and openly available via Google & on its own fully faceted search engine.)
ComVoices - a peak body joining together coordinating organisations in the Community and Voluntary Sector - have endorsed Scoop’s new model to all their constituent members in a letter sent to NGOs throughout the country.
ComVoices chair Helga Wientjs writes: “Things are changing at Scoop. It is transforming itself into a not -for-profit social enterprise and has started to charge for its services. We understand why Scoop has had to change and to explore new funding options.
Scoop will remain free to the public, but where its content is of professional use to businesses and institutions, they will need to pay to cover the running costs through a licensing system based on the number of people in an organisation. If the costs are spread in this way over a number of large and medium organisations, then the cost burden will be small.
For ComVoices, Community Scoop is an important piece of public infrastructure that we want to see preserved.
Scoop’s unique sector value
It is a valuable media outlet and the only media of its kind to offer a service to the community and voluntary sector
It is a unique communications vehicle publishing information that is of value to the sector
It emails all of our press releases directly to MPs
Provides daily updates and other targeted services
Has infrastructure that we cannot hope to replicate.
In summary, it provides the community and voluntary sector with a platform to enhance our profile, enables us to engage with one another and to access an audience of 450,000 monthly unique users.
We recommend that as a member of ComVoices if you use Scoop’s information professionally that you investigate and consider their licensing proposal.
Scoop provides a unique networking function within civil society. Supporting it morally and where possible, financially, is in our collective interest.”
The significance of this breakthrough cannot be over-estimated.
In combination with Scoop’s existing Infopages and Newsagent services - which already provides Scoop with a regular source of recurring income - the new Scoop Ethical Paywall model provides the kind of reliable, recurring, predictable and growable revenue stream that Scoop needs to maintain and grow its day to day operations sustainably over an extended period of time.
This changes everything as it delivers the kind of stability that a genuine 21st Century digital “News Business” needs.
Caption: Scoop's successful February 2015 crowd funding campaign on Pledgeme raised $36,874 to facilitate the transformation of Scoop into a not-for-profit.
Since April 29th has been actively marketing the licences through a series of sales promotions. Scoop is now talking with a large pool of identified agencies, businesses, academic institutions, and other users who will in future need a Scoop Organisation Licence in order to use Scoop in the ways they have come to rely upon to achieve their own missions.
Googling and finding actionable up to the minute news content sourced from Scoop;
Being able to immediately deliver their news via a reliable and respected platform with 500,000 monthly users.
Scoop’s Planned Role In The #FutureOfNews In New Zealand
Scoop is in the process of restructuring its New Zealand publishing arm into a social enterprise company held (probably in a trust) for the benefit of all New Zealanders. I.E. a news company for the people.
Timeline - What Scoop Has Been Doing - The Path to the Ethical Paywall model launch.
In 2012 Scoop adopted a set of terms of conditions of use that:
a. Secure the provision of free “personal use” public access to Scoop Content indefinitely (i.e. reading the website, accessing the database, quoting from, linking to etc.)
b. Define “Commercial Use” (See Terms of Use 3.3) and require commercial users to obtain a license to use Scoop.
7 June 2014 : Scoop advised the NZ Government’s “Heads of Profession” communications advisers group of its new licensing model in a leaflet called “Where News Begins”.
December 19th 2014 Scoop Announced “Operation Chrysalis”, a project to transform Scoop into a not-for-profit, seek relationships with new collaborators, innovation partners and entrepreneurs.
On January 16th 2015 Scoop launched a State of NZ News Media public conversation with a series of articles and a Loomio public discussion forum.
February 13th Scoop was formally admitted as an “Enspiral Venture”, part of the Network of socially conscious businesses (including Loomio, Craftworks, Life Hack, Chackle, Rabid, Lean Labs, Noshi, Enspiral Services and Dev Academy.) Scoop’s relationship with the Enspiral Dev Academy recently resulted in the launch of Scoop Labs, a project that we hope will become a open source future of news technology incubator.
February 18th Scoop launched a PledgeMe crowdfunding campaign to facilitate its transformation into a not-for-profit. The Campaign closed at the end of March having raised $36,874 from 321 Pledgers.
10 April as part of the #SaveCampbellLive social media campaign which it ran with ActionStation Scoop launched a “Campaign for Advertiser Responsibility”on the back of a petition which has so far received nearly 10,000 signatures.
April 29th Scoop published an editorial explaining “Why Scoop Can No Longer Be Free” and began advising its readers via advertising on the site that it is copyright and that ”You May Need A Commercial License” to use Scoop.
For more information contact Alastair Thompson and Steven Wood at Scoop - 04 910 1844

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