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