PRCA and Meltwater return to court

The PRCA and Meltwater are to meet the Newspaper Licensing Agency in court again today over online newspaper clippings and copyright.

Francis Ingham: PRCA director general
Francis Ingham: PRCA director general

The two-day hearing in the Supreme Court will address another challenge by the PRCA and Meltwater, a media monitoring service, to the NLA's arrangements for licensing online newspaper articles. 

The PRCA’s legal battles with the NLA in support of Meltwater started three years ago this month. It joined in when Meltwater took a case to the Copyright Tribunal against NLA over its licensing scheme for online articles. After the Tribunal ruled in the PRCA/Meltwater’s favour in March 2010, the NLA won a High Court challenge in November 2010.

The PRCA then took the case to the Court of Appeal, forcing the NLA to reduce its fees for web licensing in February 2012. It has since pursued the issue of how copyright law affects the NLA’s arrangements to the Supreme Court. 

The exact issue to be decided in this hearing is whether the copies created when accessing a web page are exempt from copyright protection by reason of the temporary copies exception provided by section 28A of the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act.

Francis Ingham, the PRCA director-general, said: ‘We believe that the Court of Appeal’s ruling has implications on the millions of people using the Internet, who, due to that decision, are now infringing copyright that have been lawfully put online.’

The opposite view is held by the Newspaper Licensing Agency. Its commercial director Andrew Hughes said: ‘This Supreme Court appeal does not affect current services; instead, it raises a hypothetical issue – whether a heavily revised service in which the end user did not receive copyright material but only opened articles on a publisher site might be validated by the "temporary copying" exception. 

‘NLA argue this exception is very limited and only applies to intermediaries, such as ISPs to allow networks to pass data; the PRCA (on the same side as Meltwater) that it applies to any browsing by users. That is what the Supreme Court will address.’

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Latest Articles

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

Max Clifford trial jury to reconvene tomorrow after majority verdicts direction

The jury in the trial of celebrity publicist Max Clifford on 11 charges of indecent assault has been sent home for the day after being told by the judge earlier this afternoon that he will now accept majority verdicts.

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Labour "fooling themselves" over plans to combat attacks on Miliband

Conservative-leaning public affairs experts have questioned the value of Labour's adoption of US-style campaigning tactics in the wake of the opposition hiring election strategist David Axelrod.

PLMR appoints Professor Tim Morris as non-executive director

The vet who helped establish the British Horseracing Authority's anti-doping and animal welfare programme has joined PLMR as a non-executive director.