NLA

Meltwater and PRCA celebrate partial victory as NLA considers Google News

The complicated battle between the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) and Meltwater/the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) finally came to a head yesterday afternoon.

With both sides claiming victory, the Copyright Tribunal has cut the NLA’s proposed online licensing fees and agreed that the suggestions were “not reasonable and required amendment”. 

Picture theft and a shameful licensing shakedown: the hideous double standards of UK newspapers

Last month we were contacted by the Newspaper Licensing Agency, which is owned by the UK’s national newspapers. It wanted to sell us a ‘newspaper copyright licence’. The licence would ensure that we become “copyright protected”.

Apparently we need a licence if we share press cuttings internally. It also applies to links shared that include “text extracts to explain what the link is”

A licence is also required for photocopying newspaper content, scanning and email cuttings, printing from a newspaper’s website, cutting and emailing text from a newspaper website, and putting any cuttings on our website.

Much of this doesn’t apply to our organisation, but we want to make sure that we’re operating in an ethical manner and are keen to abide by the rules. 

The issue is that the rules are:

a) flaky

b) self-defeating, and…

c) being set by people who aren’t really in any position to set them.

Let me explain.

NLA v Meltwater: are millions of web users now copyright offenders?

Anyone who clicks on a link and reads an article on a public news website in a commercial setting will infringe copyright unless licensed by the publisher, according to a UK Court of Appeal ruling in the NLA v Meltwater and PRCA case. 

On a more positive note, the court ruled that it will be very rare that headlines are copyrightable, modifying the earlier verdict of the High Court. 

I’ve been speaking with Francis Ingham, Chief Executive of the PRCA and Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater about what seems to be a very strange verdict…