NLA WEUL

Email your MP: support our campaign against the Court of Appeal Temporary Copies ruling

Following the recent Court of Appeal ruling on 27 July in the case we have been pursuing against the Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd.'s (NLA) Web End User Licence, we are seeking permission to appeal the issue of temporary copies to the Supreme Court.

The ramifications of the temporary copies ruling means that millions of users of the internet will unwittingly infringe copyright on a daily basis. We are therefore asking anyone who believes that the ‘temporary copies' ruling is incorrect or a threat to the effective use of the Internet to write to their MP to ask them for their perspective and to raise the issue with the relevant government departments.

This is a complex issue, so we have drafted a letter that you can send to your MP which explains the issue concisely and accurately.

  • To download the draft email, please click here. Please feel free to edit this before sending.
  • To find your constituency MP's email address, please click here.
  • For a list of other government ministers you might want to contact, please click here.

Thank you for helping us in this important campaign.
Please e-mail any responses you receive from an MP to: tom.hawkins@prca.org.uk   

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The two sections below provide background to the dispute between NLA and Meltwater plus PRCA, and an update following the Court of Appeals' judgment.

Court of Appeal

On 27th July the Court of Appeal gave it's judgment in the case of NLA vs Meltwater and PRCA. The Court of Appeal's ruling highlighted that the High Court judgment went further than is warranted. The court has clarified that it is not the case that every recipient and/or user of Meltwater News will inevitably infringe the copyright so as in all cases to require a licence or consent from the publisher.  

The court also ruled that it will be very rare that headlines are copyrightable. Going back hundreds of years no court has ever found a title worthy of copyright protection and the Court of Appeal endorsed this legal precedent

Given this, we now have a stronger case with the Copyright Tribunal than we had after the High Court judgment. In the Copyright Tribunal we will challenge the fairness and reasonableness of the Web End User License, looking to reduce the cost to members. The Copyright Tribunal is an independent body that settles disputes between licensees and licensors when they cannot agree on the terms of the license. For more details please see the background section below.
 

Background to the NLA v Meltwater and PRCA case

The PRCA, in conjunction with Meltwater Group, has been campaigning to protect members from the proposed Web End User License that has been proposed by the NLA Ltd. On 1st January 2009 the Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd (NLA), introduced a licencing scheme for Media Monitoring Organisations (MMOs) wishing to use content from its members' websites, as well as the clients of these MMOs (Web End Users). The NLA's proposal means that ANY organisation with employees who receive or forward emails with links to newspaper websites or view newspaper websites for commercial purposes will need a licence.

The NLA claim that end users (represented by the PRCA) need a licence was heard by the High Court in early November 2010. The High Court ruled that end users (and therefore all commercial users of online monitoring services) need a licence from the NLA to receive the Meltwater (or other online monitoring) service.

The PRCA and Meltwater decided to refer elements of the High Court judgment to the Court of Appeal with a view to minimising the costs of the NLA licence to the end user in the Copyright Tribunal.

Other useful content
For a more in depth explanation of our campaign against the proposed WEUL please read our FAQs section which explains the key points to our campaign and what will happen next, please click here

The PRCA recently held a debate on the Future of Content, which included an interesting discussion on the issue involving all sides. To see the keynote speaker, NLA debate and full debate, please click here.

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