Yes, you read the title to this post right. Are you in business? In the UK? Online or use email? Then you apparently owe the Newspaper Licensing Agency some money.
I first expressed my interest in an increasingly aggressive Newspaper Licensing Agency in a 2007 blog post suggesting a more appropriate title for the body – Newspaper Licensing Anachronism. Please note that I have nothing against the monetization of copyright content (hey I'm an author!), I just think the way the NLA conducts its business is all rather 20th Century. And this week, we’ve had a Copyright Tribunal Interim Decision. [The square brackets below reference this decision.]
The NLA’s relevance in the 21st Century has been tested, as far as the law is open to interpretation, by the innovative media monitoring company, Meltwater. Actually, the description the Copyright Tribunal uses to describe Meltwater, or rather Meltwater’s witness, is “unnecessarily combative” . Well, talking of combat, the latest battle in this war concluded yesterday.
The result is a mixed affair, with neither the NLA or Meltwater coming out on top. I’ve just recorded an interesting conversation with Meltwater’s JP Glittenberg about this week’s decision... do take a listen, particularly if you work in media, PR or copyright.[audio:https://philipsheldrake.com/wp/wp-content/uploads/2012/02/Meltwater-interview-15Feb2012.mp3|titles=Meltwater interview 15th Feb 2012]
Now the Tribunal is quite restricted: by law; by precedent; by previous adjudgements in this ongoing case; by its own terms of reference. Generally, on reading the entire 60-page decision, I find the Tribunal to be most diligent, but given my background, I get a bit uptight every time I read something that indicates a lack of technical understanding of the Internet and the World Wide Web (yes, they are different things!)
Despite some stumbles however, they get somewhere interesting in the end. In fact, they end up showing up UK copyright law for the shambles it is. Read more