PRCA and Meltwater defend UK Web users from unintentional copyright infringement in the UK Supreme Court


London, 8th February – The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) and Meltwater Group are taking the fight to protect Internet users from unintentionally infringing copyright law in a landmark copyright case at the Supreme Court next week. 

On 11 and 12 February, the highest court in the UK will decide on the right of everyone in the UK to view and read online articles without unintentionally infringing copyright law. 

The PRCA and Meltwater are contesting an earlier Court of Appeal decision that the temporary copies made through the purely technological process of displaying a Web page on a computer to enable a user to read that Web page is a violation of UK copyright law if made without the explicit consent of the copyright owner.

In order to view articles online, temporary copies of the works are made automatically within the user’s computer for the sole purpose of enabling the user to read or view the content. The PRCA argues that the Court of Appeal ruling was wrong, because reading or viewing a work is not unlawful so Web browsing should be allowed by the temporary copy exception in EU copyright law.

Francis Ingham, 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 by viewing articles that have been lawfully put online.”

The hearings will take place on the following dates/times:

·         Monday 11 February: 11.00-13.00; 14.00-16.00

·         Tuesday 12 February: 10.30-13.00; 14.00-16.00

The Supreme Court is the final court of appeal in the UK for civil cases, and for criminal cases from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. It hears cases of the greatest public or constitutional importance affecting the whole population.


PRCA contact:

Tom Hawkins

PRCA Policy and Research Manager

+44 7233 6026

Meltwater Media Contact:

Heidi Myers

Manager, UK Marketing Communications

+44 7971 843653


About the PRCA

Who we are: Founded in 1969, the PRCA is the professional body that represents UK PR consultancies, in-house communications teams, PR freelancers and individuals. The PRCA promotes all aspects of public relations and internal communications work, helping teams and individuals maximise the value they deliver to clients and organisations.

What we do: The Association exists to raise standards in PR and communications, providing members with industry data, facilitating the sharing of communications best practice and creating networking opportunities.

How we do it and make a difference: All PRCA members are bound by a professional charter and codes of conduct, and benefit from exceptional training. The Association also works for the greater benefit of the industry, sharing best practice and lobbying on the industry's behalf e.g. fighting the NLA's digital licence.

Who we represent: The PRCA represents many of the major consultancies in the UK, and currently has more than 300 agency members from around the world, including the majority of the top 150 UK consultancies. We also represent over 100 in-house communications teams from multinationals, UK charities and leading UK public sector organisations.

Comments (0)
Think before you print! Save energy and paper! Do you really need to print this page?
Fee Income
Drag here
  • This field should only be completed by the individual with responsibility for your company's PRCA membership.
  • NB - Once you check the box to the left of this field and click update this figure is fixed for the entire year.
  • Fee income is defined as fees or income arising from time spent on carrying out public relations consultancy work plus any mark up and any handling charges or profits made on disbursement or expenses.
  • This figure
    1. will be used to calculate your membership subscription fee for 2009
    2. will be published on the PRCA website and in the yearbook.
  • This figure must include the fees from any subsidiary companies but not associated companies (see below).
  • If you are bound by Sarbanes-Oxley please select that accordingly, we will contact you individually about your fee income.
Holders of public office
Drag here
  • Please list any employees who hold any public office including members of House of Parliament, members of local authorities or of any statutory organisations or bodies who are full- or part part-time directors, partners, staff, special advisers or consultants retained by the consultancy
Subsidiary companies
Drag here
  • These companies are entitled to the same benefits as other PRCA members, they must abide by the PRCA Professional Charter and Codes of Conduct and their fee income must be included in the fee income field above.
Associated companies
Drag here
  • These companies are not included in your membership and as such do not benefit from PRCA member benefits. These companies are not covered by the PRCA professional charter.
Current clients
Drag here

The clients listed in this section are those which retain a consultancy on a continuing basis to deal with their public relations either in a specialised area or as a whole. One asterisk (*) against a client's name indicates that the consultancy has been retained by that client for three years; two asterisks (**) indicate that it has been retained for at least five years. Clients served on an ad-hoc basis are listed separately.

Adhoc clients
Drag here

Clients for whom you have undertaken work in the last twelve months on a project rather than a retained basis

Conflict of interest clients
Drag here

NB This will not appear as a separate list in the yearbook.