THURSDAY 18 DEC 2014 10:57 AM


The PRCA’s court battle with the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) reaches a critical point with the news that, alongside media monitoring company Meltwater, it will be having its court costs reimbursed by the NLA. In accordance with the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom has handed the NLA an initial bill for £300,000.

Earlier this year the PRCA and Meltwater won a crucial case affecting online copyright infringement laws. Since it was decided that browsing online should not require authorisation from the copyright holder the ruling keeps browsers from unwittingly breaking copyright laws.

In its statement, the Supreme Court has ordered that, “No such licence or consent is required in respect of the on-screen and cached reproductions of web pages which are made on an end user’s computer when an end user accesses the Meltwater News service via the Meltwater website or clicks on a hyperlink provided as part of the service to a web page of the Second to Seventh Claimants.”

This final decision by the CJEU to bill the NLA marks the five year point of the PRCA, Meltwater and NLA court battle.

Francis Ingham, PRCA director general, says, “We couldn’t wish for a better way to end the year than to be handed this agreement from the highest court in the UK that the NLA, which represents eight national newspapers, is wrong to charge innocent people for reading online content.”

However, negotiations are expected to continue since the Web End User License (WEUL), introduced by the NLA in 2010, which requires public relations practitioners to pay for the links they receive from monitoring firms like Meltwater, is not entirely resolved by the CJEU judgment. The PRCA encourages media monitoring firms to create new service models that get around the NLA's charges, and this may initiate a response from the NLA which the PRCA has promised to counteract.

While the copyright tribunal forced the NLA to lower its proposed prices by 90%, the PRCA and Meltwater plan to negotiate a further decrease in the cost of licencing for receiving digital links. In the meantime the PRCA advises its members to continue paying their fees.


MON 16 May 2016 10:59 AM
Reporting on brand
FRI 13 May 2016 2:00 PM
Jeep on running
WED 11 May 2016 1:28 PM
Crises are lost in translation
WED 11 May 2016 9:17 AM
Lack of strategy in IC