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Home > Public Policy > Digital Media


Newspapers are increasingly moving to digital – including mobile – platforms to provide readers with news and information when and how they want to receive it. NAA advocates before the executive and legislative branches on issues that relate to digital media.

A top priority is to ensure that any regulatory or legislative efforts to enhance consumer privacy online do not harm newspapers’ ability to develop new business models. Newspapers care about reader privacy and strive to act responsibly when it comes to consumer data, but they also need flexibility to implement new revenue streams that can sustain high-quality, original journalism.

NAA works on other digital media issues such as protecting newspaper copyrights in online content and reforming the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA).

= NAA Members Only

What Does the FAA Drone Proposal Mean for News Organizations?

March 02, 2015

On Sunday, February 15, the Federal Aviation Administration addressed the use of unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) by the private sector. Unless the operator qualifies for a special exemption, the commercial use of UAS is currently prohibited.

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Memo: Update on Drones for NAA members

December 02, 2014

This memorandum provides an update on developments in the FAA’s authority to regulate the use of unmanned aircraft systems (“UAS”) — commonly called drones — including their use in newsgathering.  The FAA does not permit the use of drones for commercial purposes and has been aggressive in issuing warning letters and, occasionally, fines to individuals and companies whose use of drones has come to FAA’s attention.  This memo will first review the FAA’s policy and use of warning letters to drone operators.  It will next update the status of the first legal challenge to the FAA’s authority to regulate drones, a question that is pending before the National Transportation Safety Board (“NTSB”).  Finally, it will summarize tort law issues that news organizations should consider before using drones.

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White Paper: Creating a Framework for the Use of Unmanned Aircraft Systems

September 29, 2014

This white paper for NAA members examines the current legal landscape for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) use, as well as First Amendment issues that may arise as newspapers and other media use drones for newsgathering.

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Bill to Protect Communications Content Supported by Majority of House

September 18, 2014

Last week, NAA joined a letter of the Digital Due Process coalition urging House leadership to bring up the Email Privacy Act (H.R. 1852) for a floor vote. The Email Privacy Act has an impressive 265 co-sponsors, well above the 218 votes needed to pass legislation.

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NAA submits comments to the FCC to maintain an open Internet

September 15, 2014

Maintaining an open and sustainable Internet—where publishers can continue to distribute important content serving the public interest without restrictions—is essential to ensuring the role of media organizations in maintaining an informed public.

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Copyright alliance submits comments to Department of Commerce

January 24, 2014

Last week the Copyright Alliance, of which NAA is a member, submitted comments to the Department of Commerce on several copyright issues: remixes, digital first sale doctrine, statutory damages, online licensing, and the notice-and-takedown system created by Section 512 of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. The Department solicited comments in response to its “green paper” on “Copyright Policy, Creativity, and Innovation in the Digital Economy” (July 2013) and its public meeting held last December. Preserving statutory damages is particularly important for newspapers, as is making the notice-and-takedown system more efficient and effective for content creators.

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Data Leakage: Business Considerations

October 15, 2013

Online advertising is a vital revenue source for newspaper companies and its importance is growing every day. As online advertising technology has evolved over the past several years, the ads have become more effective, allowing newspaper websites to serve targeted ads that will be of most interest to consumers. Unfortunately, some of the third parties involved in the targeted advertising ecosystem are increasingly collecting and monetizing newspaper reader data to the detriment of newspapers. When this collection is done without the newspaper’s knowledge and consent, it is known as data leakage and poses a significant threat to news organizations as they seek to find viable advertising-based digital business models.

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AP wins copyright case against news aggregator

March 26, 2013

A federal trial court in New York ruled that aggregator Meltwater News violated Associated Press copyrights in its online news stories. NAA filed an amicus brief in the case, along with The New York Times Co., Advance Publications Inc., Gannett Co. Inc., The McClatchy Co. and BurrellesLuce. Meltwater News included excerpts of AP articles in its news digests to client-subscribers and refused to pay AP licensing fees.

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Federal agencies dive deeper into consumer privacy

March 12, 2012

The Obama Administration recently issued a new consumer privacy report calling for a “Consumer Privacy Bill of Rights,” which includes six consumer privacy principles. The report also advocates for strong enforcement by the Federal Trade Commission and legislation to implement the principles. Meanwhile, the FTC is expected to release its own final consumer privacy report soon. NAA submitted comments in 2011 on the FTC’s draft “green paper.” The FTC also is revisiting its regulations implementing the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act in light of new technologies and digital platforms.

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Copyright legislation stalled by Internet campaign

January 24, 2012

Copyright protection was a hot, outside-the-Beltway topic recently as Congress was getting ready to move forward with two bills: the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA) in the House and the Protect Intellectual Property Act (PIPA) in the Senate. The bills would provide the Department of Justice with new copyright enforcement tools against foreign websites that traffic in pirated or counterfeit digital and tangible goods, such as movies, music, prescription drugs and designer handbags. While the legislation has an uncertain future, given controversy over a Domain Name System blocking provision, one attractive element of the bills was a precedent-setting provision that would stop advertising networks and payment processors from doing business with infringing websites.

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Industry and policymakers shift focus to mobile privacy

August 24, 2011

Mobile is the new frontier in newspapers’ efforts to monetize digital content and deliver news and information when and where readers want it. As newspapers invest and innovate in the mobile space, they also should think about consumer privacy. Members of Congress have introduced mobile privacy legislation, and industry initiatives are under way to provide companies with guidance on mobile privacy without unduly interfering with the quality of mobile products and services or the ability to make money from them. NAA encourages newspapers to weave in privacy principles when developing mobile applications and mobile websites.

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Congress considers data security/breach notification legislation

August 01, 2011

The issue of protecting consumer information has risen in prominence among lawmakers in recent months. So far, members of Congress have introduced seven data security/breach notification bills and 10 bills to protect consumer privacy. The House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade held a markup of Chairwoman Mary Bono Mack’s SAFE Data Act (HR 2577) on July 20, passing the amended bill by voice vote. A markup by the full House Energy & Commerce Committee has not yet been scheduled. While NAA supports reasonable data security/breach notification legislation, we prefer industry self-regulation to protect consumer privacy.

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Second Circuit reaffirms 'Hot News' cause of action under federal pre-emption doctrine

July 08, 2011

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit reaffirmed in late June that the state law tort of misappropriation of “hot news” survives as a viable cause of action, and is not pre-empted under federal copyright law. Barclay’s Capital Inc. v. Theflyonthewall.com Inc. Although the court found against the particular claim of the plaintiff Wall Street brokerage firms, the long-awaited ruling maintains protection for news organizations from free-riding and unfair competitors who appropriate and resell fresh news at little or no cost.

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NAA submits comments to FTC on consumer privacy

February 24, 2011

The Federal Trade Commission published a preliminary report in December 2010 that proposed a new consumer privacy framework for the collection and sharing of consumer data both online and offline. NAA submitted comments on Feb. 18 that acknowledged the importance of protecting consumer privacy and developing industry best practices, but cautioned the agency against recommending new legal mandates...

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President Obama signs bill to clarify FTC "Red Flag" rules

December 23, 2010

In November 2007 the Federal Trade Commission issued its “Red Flag” Rules as required under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions Act of 2003 (FACTA), giving “creditors” one year, until November 2008, to implement a written Identity Theft program for “covered accounts.”

Delays in the effective date unfolded, as groups of lawyers, doctors and accountants challenged the rules’ applicability to their constituents.

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Industry self-regulation for online privacy begins

October 06, 2010

A coalition of media and marketing trade associations announced implementation details this week for a program designed to give consumers more information about and control over how their personal information is collected and used for online targeted marketing. In response to the Federal Trade Commission's recommendation that companies provide consumers with notice and choice outside the traditional website privacy policy, the coalition launched self-regulatory privacy principles for online behavioral advertising in July 2009.

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Congress, FTC consider changes to COPPA rules

May 12, 2010

The U.S. Senate Commerce Committee held a hearing April 29 on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) to discuss whether the statute, passed in 1998, should be updated in light of changes in technology. The hearing was inspired by the Federal Trade Commission’s announcement that it will reconsider its COPPA Rule, which became effective in 2000 and has remained unchanged since then.

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NAA files comments highlighting the importance of intellectual property protections for newspapers

March 24, 2010

On March 24, 2010, NAA filed comments In the Matter of Coordination and Strategic Planning of the Federal Effort Against Intellectual Property Infringement: Request of the Intellectual Property Enforcement Coordinator for Public Comments Regarding the Joint Strategic Plan.

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U.S. Copyright Office issues interim rule on mandatory deposit of online-only works

February 01, 2010

On January 25, the U.S. Copyright Office issued its interim rule in Mandatory Deposit of Published Electronic Works Available Only Online. 75 Fed. Reg. 3863 (Jan. 25, 2010). Under section 407 of the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C., copyrightable works published in the United States are subject to mandatory deposit. Two copies of the best edition must be sent to the Copyright Office within three months of publication.

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