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HTFP: Wales on Sunday pays BNP for copyright breach

March 11th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Trinity Mirror has made an out-of-court settlement with the British National Party after a breach of copyright in an article published last November.

The piece included a picture of BNP West Wales party organiser Roger Phillips, taken by a party official, which the BNP said was taken from Facebook without permission.

Full story at this link…

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The Bookseller: Supreme Court resurrects $18m settlement between publishers and freelancers

March 3rd, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Freelance, Legal

An $18 million settlement between freelancer writers and a group of US publishers, which was thrown out after objections by some of the writers involved, has been revived by the US Supreme Court.

The writers, including freelancers who did and some who did not copyright their work, took the action against publishers including the New York Times Co., Dow Jones and News Corporation claiming copyright infringement by the use of their work in digital archives and databases.

As the Bookseller explains:

The case dates backs more than 10 years and has implications for how publishers can digitally use content that was originally supplied only for print publication. The settlement was reached in 2005 after about four years of negotiations over writers’ claims that their contracts did not allow for publication of their work electronically. This followed a 2001 Supreme Court ruling in favour of six freelance authors claiming copyright infringement in The New York Times Company v. Tasini. The publisher had won the original case.

The Supreme Court’s decision will not change the original terms of the settlement, says the Bookseller, but its revival could resolve some holes in the publishers’ archive benefitting both readers and news groups, says the New York Times.

Full story at this link…

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News International steps up blocking of aggregators

January 12th, 2010 | No Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

Last week Journalism.co.uk reported that Times Online had blocked news aggregator NewsNow from crawling its website.

And now News International has followed suit with its other UK sites, News of the World and The Sun (hat tip to Malcolm Coles for alerting us to this development). Both are now blocking NewsNow’s crawlers.

Last month NewsNow dropped links to the sites of 18 newspapers publishers from its subscription service ahead of the introduction of new charges by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) for aggregators and media monitoring services using newspaper website links in their paid-for services. Links to the Times’ site were not dropped however.

The aggregator also claimed it was facing legal pressure from newspaper groups to remove links.

Last week Struan Bartlett, managing director of NewsNow, made his feelings on NI’s decision clear:

NewsNow and other aggregation businesses will ride the wave, but I am concerned that key freedoms people enjoy, to access publicly available information on the internet using an independent search engine of their choice, are being eroded

But in a statement given to Journalism.co.uk, News International’s reasons for blocking the aggregator hinge on the use of links to its websites within NewsNow’s paid-for service:

NewsNow has been using Times Online content as part of its paid-for, commercial as well as free services. They have continued to do so despite our direct requests for them to stop. As a result, we have taken the decision to disallow their indexing of our content. News International makes a significant investment in journalism and we believe that it is entirely appropriate for us to ask that our rights are respected. NewsNow has acknowledged that they require our permission to use our content and, in the absence of our permission, has ceased to do so.

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NLA suspends payment of new link charges for aggregators

January 7th, 2010 | 3 Comments | Posted by in Newspapers, Online Journalism

Yet another twist in the ongoing dispute over new charges affecting media monitoring services and aggregators introduced by the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) this year.

From 1 January the NLA started charging sites, including aggregators, that link to newspaper websites and articles as part of their paid-for services.

The organisation, which is owned by eight UK national newspaper publishers, is only targetting commercial services so as to recoup some revenue from the use of newspapers’ online content.

But the NLA has announced it will suspend invoicing for these charges until the results of a copyright tribunal. The NLA has been taken to the tribunal by Meltwater, the Norwegian-owned media monitoring firm that has not agreed to the NLA’s new system, is taking the NLA to a UK copyright tribunal, arguing that it is equivalent to a stealth tax and not supported by English law.

“Meltwater’s position is that end users do not need a licence to simply receive links and read articles on the NLA’s members’ websites, and we welcome the NLA’s reasonable and proportionate response to the issue now being before the Copyright Tribunal,” said Jørn Lyseggen, CEO Meltwater Group, in a statement to Journalism.co.uk.

If the tribunal finds in favour of the NLA, the agency will backdate payments to 1 January 2010. The date for the tribunal has not yet, but an NLA spokesman said the agency hoped it would be completed by the end of the year.

“We are confident that the copyright tribunal will recognise our web licensing scheme is measured and reasonable. But we do not want any licensed users of newspaper web monitoring to be disadvantaged by Meltwater’s action. Clients of all
monitoring agencies should be on a level playing field. We have therefore decided not to invoice clients for their web licence until the copyright tribunal process is complete,” says David Pugh, managing director of the NLA, in a release.

Meltwater is one of only a small number of services that have refused the NLA’s new fees. News aggregator NewsNow was forced to drop some links to newspaper sites from its paid-for aggregation service as a result of the new system and last month launched a campaign calling for search engines, aggregators and other websites to be legally protected when linking to other online material using a headline, short quote or summary with attribution.

Commenting on the NLA’s decision to suspend invoicing, Struan Bartlett, managing director of NewsNow, said: “‘Measured and reasonable’ are the last two words I would choose to describe the NLA web licensing scheme. One might read it that this move by the NLA indicates they think there is a risk that they will lose the case, and that in that event they would not want to be burdened with having to repay fees wrongly claimed from businesses.”

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NewsNow re-enters newspaper linking fight with campaign; Meltwater takes NLA to copyright tribunal

December 17th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Legal, Newspapers, Online Journalism

NewsNow, the online news aggregator which this week said it would drop links to some newspaper sites from its paid-for service, has now launched a campaign calling for search engines, aggregators and other websites to be legally protected when linking to other online material using a headline, short quote or summary with attribution.

The Right2Link campaign, while not aimed directly at the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) has no doubt been sparked by the ongoing dispute between NewsNow and the agency over its plans to introduce a licensing system for commercial services, such as aggregators, using links to newspaper websites from January 2010, which forced NewsNow to remove some links.

“Search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, as well as other new economy businesses that act as portals and link aggregators, occupy a key role in identifying links that are of interest to be read and passed on.  They are a key part of the world wide web’s system of circulating information,” says a press release from the campaign.

The campaign also attacks representatives from print media groups that demand organisations obtain permission to use links to their newspapers’ websites.

But this isn’t what the NLA is asking for. It only wants to regulate areas where the newspaper links are being used for commercial gain and is a supporter NewsNow’s non-commercial services, for example its free feeds to consumers, it says.

Online media monitoring firm Meltwater, which is also signed up to the campaign but has not agreed to the NLA’s new system, is taking the NLA to a UK copyright tribunal arguing that the new system is equivalent to a stealth tax and not supported by English law.

“We use sophisticated search algorithms to help our clients find content they otherwise would have difficulties locating. The NLA’s attempt to license our clients is essentially a tax on receiving these internet links. This fee is not only unjust and unreasonable, it is contrary to the very spirit of the internet,” argues Jorn Lyseggen, CEO of Meltwater Group, in a statement.

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EPUK: Photographer wins copyright infringement case against Mirror Group Newspapers

October 26th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal, Newspapers, Photography

Photography site EPUK publishes a report by law firm Swan Turton on a celebrity photographer’s copyright victory over Mirror Group Newspapers (MGN).

“In a judgment issued on October 16 which has potentially important ramifications for the photography industry, the High Court held that Daily Mirror publisher MGN Ltd had infringed copyright in photographs included in back copies of newspapers it was making available online to paid subscribers.”

Full post at this link…

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RIA Novosti: Russian media drafts law opposing illegal content sharing

June 15th, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

(From last week via Adrian Monck’s blog) Russia’s leading news organisations are proposing draft legislation that would change the legal status of news reports to goods, with fines imposed for publication out of copyright.

“The main goal of the proposed amendments to a number of laws is to turn news into goods which must be paid for,” RIA Novosti editor-in-chief Svetlana Mironyuk said in the report.

Russia’s media landscape is beginning to address the issue of copyright breaches online – but will the country learn from the attempts of other states to tackle this problem?

Full story at this link…

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BJP: Guardian in alleged photography rights grab

April 30th, 2009 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Editors' pick, Freelance, Photography

The Guardian is going to demand increased usage rights for commissioned images, according to this report.

The paper will reportedly ask for full and future usage rights, but with no extra compensation.

A Guardian spokeswoman said the matter was still under discussion.

Full story at this link…

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Apartment Therapy: NYTimes calls off take down notice for blog network

March 23rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Legal

Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan, co-founder of Apartment Therapy, confirms that the New York Times has withdrawn a take down notice for articles and images used by the blog network.

Full post at this link…

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MediaGuardian: OMC09: Reform UK copyright, says Google

January 23rd, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Legal

Allow limited use of copyrighted work to individuals looking to create new content, Richard Sargeant, Google UK’s public policy manager, told the Oxford Media Convention.

Full story at this link…

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