The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) has welcomed a court ruling which, it is claimed, could see millions of internet users found to be in breach of copyright.
The Court of Appeal today upheld the High Court ruling last year that online newspapers are copyright protected.
David Pugh, managing director of the Newspaper Licensing Association, commented: “[The ruling] has given a clear declaration that most (if not all) businesses subscribing to a media monitoring service that contains content from online newspapers require a licence. We welcome this ruling and the clarity it provides for publishers, media monitoring agencies and their clients.
“This positive interpretation of UK copyright law provides legal clarity and certainty for all players in the market. Publishers can be sure of fair royalties for the use of their content, suppliers of paid-for online monitoring services will benefit from a level playing field and clients of such services know that their licence provides a simple way to guarantee compliance with the law.
“It also provides a clear vindication of our decision to have two licenses, one for paid-for online monitoring service providers and one for their customers. Now we have legal clarity, we look forward to the Copyright Tribunal review of the commercial aspects of newspaper website licensing. The NLA would like to see as swift and complete a resolution as possible for all parties – publishers, media monitoring companies and their clients. Eighteen leading media monitoring organisations have already taken web licences, and they, like us, want a fair and equitable system.”
The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) who challenged the scheme alongside technology firm Meltwater, have claimed that the ruling could affect ‘millions’ of online users who open a webpage of a media owner and plans to appeal the decision at the Supreme Court.