Tag: copyright (page 1 of 1)

Don’t forward. That could be illegal.

Here's how The Independent reports on this week's Appeal Court decision to uphold the High Court's decision that customers of media monitoring services – which provide digests of news from websites run by newspapers – need licences from the publications involved, in order to avoid breaching their copyright.

And as much as this might surprise anyone who thought they knew that the Web is made up of web pages with unique addresses that anyone can forward, share, bookmark, embed and access – I'm afraid you're wrong. In fact, I may have broken UK law by including the link to The Independent article without having bought a license from the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA).

[Note to non-UK resident readers: This situation is acutely embarrassing for us Brits and I'd appreciate it if you kept this quiet. After all, our current coalition government really wants the rest of the world to think we 'get' digital.]

You see the trouble is the Court's are dealing with horse and cart in the age of the automobile. The government commissioned May 2011 review of the state of UK intellectual property law, the Hargreave's report, concludes that laws designed more than three centuries ago with the express purpose of creating economic incentives for innovation by protecting creators’ rights are today obstructing innovation and economic growth. An unequivocal conclusion if ever there was one. Read more

Friday Roundup – the NLA and copyright

I have always admired the UK's Newspaper Licensing Agency for its self-assured composure in freshly applying last century's rules to this one.

That's a repeat of the opening sentence to a blog post of mine from 2007. And in the last couple of weeks the NLA appears to just get sillier and sillier and less and less in tune with how the world works today. They have announced their imminent intention to begin charging agencies and clients for sending URLs to each other.

Yes, you did read that right. I can assure you, that is the case, and no laughing please from those of you outside of the UK! Read more

NLA, Agency or Anachronism?

I have always admired the UK's Newspaper Licensing Agency for its self-assured composure in freshly applying last century's rules to this one. Now I know rules don't just expire, but equally, they don't just stay relevant untouched, and the legal underpin for the NLA's stance surely demands review. If 2007 marks the year music companies reviewed their attitude toward digital rights management, then it's time the NLA got real too.

But whilst we have been a NLA license holder for many years, it was only from reading a recent email sent by the NLA to a client that I was shocked to see the NLA want their cake and eat it.

Here's the scenario.

Agency X collects the opinions expressed by others about client Y; as any self-respecting PR consultancy would. They scan them for display on an extranet; as any self-respecting PR consultancy would. The client reads them on the extranet; as any self-respecting client would.

Now to many people, this is not a copyright issue. This is not copying original work for the sake of republishing it to the republisher's profit... this is simply logging a public voice contributing to an organisation's public reputation. However, I feel this point is too far removed from the accepted norm to spur support, so you should know this is not the point I'm making. I'm feeling only sufficiently brave to question the NLA's desire to tax us twice. Here's how...

The process described above requires both the agency and the client to have a license.

Now there may be associated activity for which this dual licensing could be justified, but my assertion here is that it appears dual licenses are required for the restricted practice described above alone. Can this be right? Isn't it all just slightly anachronistic? Or, more simply, just a bit nutty!