Appeal court backs newspaper copyright ruling

The Court of Appeal today upheld a High Court judge's decision that customers of media monitoring services which provide digests of news from websites run by newspapers need licences from the publications involved, in order to avoid breaching their copyright.

The Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) and a group of national newspaper publishers won the original decision against Dutch-based media monitoring company Meltwater, its UK subsidiary Meltwater News UK Ltd, and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), a PR industry representative body.



Mrs Justice Proudman found in November last year that the users of these monitoring services needed licences to receive, copy and distribute newspapers' web content.



Today, in the Court of Appeal, Sir Andrew Morritt, Chancellor, sitting with Lord Justice Jackson and Lord Justice Elias, rejected an appeal brought solely by the PRCA against that decision.



Sir Andrew said Mrs Justice Proudman had concluded that:



* The headlines to the various articles reproduced in Meltwater News were capable of being literary works independently of the article to which they related;



* The extracts from the articles reproduced in Meltwater News with or without the headline to the article were capable of being a substantial part of the literary work consisting of the article as a whole;



* Accordingly each of the copies made by Meltwater News' end-users' computers in receiving the e-mail from Meltwater, opening it, and accessing the Meltwater website by clicking on the link to the article, and the copies of the article itself made when clicking on the link indicated by Meltwater News was, on the face of it, a breach of the publishers' copyright;



* Legislation dealing with temporary copies, or fair dealing for copyright material, or Database Regulations did not allow such copying;



* Thus, the end-user required a licence from NLA or the publisher in order lawfully to receive and use the Meltwater news service.



Sir Andrew also rejected the PRCA's argument that the requirement for end-users of services such as those provided by Meltwater News to have two licences - one each from the NLA and the individual publisher - was simply an attempt to make users get two licences for one act of copying, which should require only one licence.



"The copies created on the end-user's computer are the consequence of the end-user opening the e-mail containing Meltwater News, searching the Meltwater website or accessing the publisher's website by clicking on the link provided by Meltwater," Sir Andrew said.



"They are not the same copies as those sent by Meltwater.



"PRCA admitted as much in its defence and the agreed statement of facts. For these reasons I consider that the double licensing contention is unmaintainable."



But Mrs Justice Proudman's declaration of the need for PRCA to have two licences went a little further than her conclusions might have warranted, Sir Andrew said.



Not every recipient and/or user of Meltwater News would, in all cases, infringe copyright so as to need a licence or consent from the publisher, he said, adding: "A licence would not be required in such a case but there cannot be many of them.



"Accordingly I consider that the form of declaration requires some modification such as the insertion of the words 'most if not all' before the words 'members of the PRCA'."



PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Web / Digital Analyst - Google Analytics, Omniture

competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client who are a leading publisher in...

Sales Perfomance Manager. Marylebone, London

£45-£57k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

Social Media Director (Global) - London Bridge/Southwark

£45000 - £50000 per annum + Benefits: Ashdown Group: Social Media Director (Gl...

Personal and Legal Assistant – Media and Entertainment

£28,000 - £31,000: Sauce Recruitment: A Global media business based in West Lo...

Day In a Page

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

Peace without magnanimity - the summit in a railway siding that ended the fighting
Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

Scottish independence: How the Commonwealth Games could swing the vote

In the final part of our series, Chris Green arrives in Glasgow - a host city struggling to keep the politics out of its celebration of sport
Out in the cold: A writer spends a night on the streets and hears the stories of the homeless

A writer spends a night on the streets

Rough sleepers - the homeless, the destitute and the drunk - exist in every city. Will Nicoll meets those whose luck has run out
Striking new stations, high-speed links and (whisper it) better services - the UK's railways are entering a new golden age

UK's railways are entering a new golden age

New stations are opening across the country and our railways appear to be entering an era not seen in Britain since the early 1950s
Conchita Wurst becomes a 'bride' on the Paris catwalk - and proves there is life after Eurovision

Conchita becomes a 'bride' on Paris catwalk

Alexander Fury salutes the Eurovision Song Contest winner's latest triumph
Pétanque World Championship in Marseilles hit by

Pétanque 'world cup' hit by death threats

This year's most acrimonious sporting event took place in France, not Brazil. How did pétanque get so passionate?
Whelks are healthy, versatile and sustainable - so why did we stop eating them in the UK?

Why did we stop eating whelks?

Whelks were the Victorian equivalent of the donor kebab and our stocks are abundant. So why do we now export them all to the Far East?
10 best women's sunglasses

In the shade: 10 best women's sunglasses

From luxury bespoke eyewear to fun festival sunnies, we round up the shades to be seen in this summer
Germany vs Argentina World Cup 2014: Lionel Messi? Javier Mascherano is key for Argentina...

World Cup final: Messi? Mascherano is key for Argentina...

No 10 is always centre of attention but Barça team-mate is just as crucial to finalists’ hopes
Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer knows she needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

Siobhan-Marie O’Connor: Swimmer needs Glasgow joy on road to Rio

18-year-old says this month’s Commonwealth Games are a key staging post in her career before time slips away
The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

The true Gaza back-story that the Israelis aren’t telling this week

A future Palestine state will have no borders and be an enclave within Israel, surrounded on all sides by Israeli-held territory, says Robert Fisk
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: The German people demand an end to the fighting

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

The German people demand an end to the fighting
New play by Oscar Wilde's grandson reveals what the Irish wit said at his trials

New play reveals what Oscar Wilde said at trials

For a century, what Wilde actually said at his trials was a mystery. But the recent discovery of shorthand notes changed that. Now his grandson Merlin Holland has turned them into a play
Can scientists save the world's sea life from

Can scientists save our sea life?

By the end of the century, the only living things left in our oceans could be plankton and jellyfish. Alex Renton meets the scientists who are trying to turn the tide
Richard III, Trafalgar Studios, review: Martin Freeman gives highly intelligent performance

Richard III review

Martin Freeman’s psychotic monarch is big on mockery but wanting in malice