Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Standing Up For The Industry

Last week, we lodged our appeal against the High Court's ruling in favour of the NLA.

This is what I said announcing it:

Fifteen minutes ago acting on behalf of our members and the wider PR industry, the PRCA appealed last month’s High Court decision in favour of the NLA,

In 2009 the NLA decided to extend its hardcopy licensing scheme to cover the sharing of links to newspaper website content. The NLA believes that anyone using a commercial media monitoring service, or systematically sending content to clients, needs a licence to do so.

Meltwater challenged the proposed licensing scheme in the Copyright Tribunal believing it to be unreasonable. The PRCA supported this view and intervened in support of Meltwater and on behalf of our members and end users generally.

Following two rulings from the Copyright Tribunal in favour of Meltwater and the PRCA, the NLA referred the PRCA and Meltwater to the High Court.

We were disappointed by the High Court’s decision and believe it fundamentally to be flawed. We believe it risks putting an end to the freedom with which information can be shared on the Internet. The implication is that the mere act of browsing freely accessible websites will require a copyright licence.

We are therefore appealing the decision. We anticipate that even if our appeal is unsuccessful, the Copyright Tribunal will find that the terms of the licences and the fees sought from customers are unreasonable and so will reduce the fees. In this event, end users will still be in a better position.

Irrespective of the outcome of the appeal, we are confident that our ultimate aim of ensuring reasonable terms for the licensing of NLA content will be achieved.

In the meantime, if you have any questions about what the licensing scheme means for you or your organisation or you would like to be kept informed of developments in this case, then please on the link below.

The PRCA is proud to be representing, with Meltwater, the interests of the PR industry. And while it is our duty as a professional body to take on such a role, your messages of support and help collecting evidence have been crucial to our case.

Thank you for all your help and we promise to keep you informed as the case continues.

You can see a clip of that statement here

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