Hyperlinked-headline case heads back to court

Summary:The UK Court of Appeal will on Wednesday hear arguments protesting a High Court judgement last November, which said it was illegal to email a client hyperlinks to newspaper stories without the client having a licence.Online reputation management and web monitoring firm Meltwater and the Public Relations Consultant Association (PRCA) had lost a case brought against them by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA).

The UK Court of Appeal will on Wednesday hear arguments protesting a High Court judgement last November, which said it was illegal to email a client hyperlinks to newspaper stories without the client having a licence.

Online reputation management and web monitoring firm Meltwater and the Public Relations Consultant Association (PRCA) had lost a case brought against them by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA). The NLA's case was based on the idea that newspaper publishers' online content is subject to copyright, to the extent that an NLA licence is required to email business clients hyperlinked headlines.

The High Court agreed with the NLA that sending someone a hyperlinked headline amounts to the distribution of content, and that the person receiving the link in a newsletter must have an NLA licence to do so. The web monitoring firms and aggregators sending out the newsletter also need a licence, the court said.

Jens-Petter Glittenberg, Meltwater's head of business development, said at a copyright policy legal forum in London that the UK's lack of fair use was a problem, whereas the company has no such issues in countries such as the US that do have a concept of fair use.

"In those markets we have no problems. In markets that do not have fair use, that’s where we need to spend money on lawyers," Glittenberg said, adding: "UK copyright law was not written with the internet in mind — it is open to interpretation and that will benefit the large established players."

Topics: Telcos

About

David Meyer is a freelance technology journalist. He fell into journalism when he realised his musical career wouldn't be paying many bills. His early journalistic career was spent in general news, working behind the scenes for BBC radio and on-air as a newsreader for independent stations. David's main focus is on communications, of both... Full Bio

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Related Stories

The best of ZDNet, delivered

You have been successfully signed up. To sign up for more newsletters or to manage your account, visit the Newsletter Subscription Center.
Subscription failed.