It appears as though there has been some evolution in the position of the Irish Newspaper industry since Friday, when the issue of whether links were subject to copyright was addressed on RTE’s Morning Ireland, the country’s most listened-to radio programme.
As of this afternoon. Newspaper Licensing Ireland have placed a prominent statement on their homepage. It reads
Statement on behalf of Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited regarding use of newspaper content
For personal use: NLI never requires or requests a licence for personal use of newspaper content.
For commercial use: NLI does not require a licence from any organisation which only displays or transmits links to newspaper content. A licence is required when there is other reproduction of the newspaper content, such as display of PDFs or text extracts.
6 January 2012
This is a welcome evolution of the earlier Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited position set out in correspondence as recently as the 19th December 2012 with our office that
“It is both a breach of our members’ intellectual property rights and their website terms and conditions for your client or any other entity to link to its (sic) websites other than for personal use.”
The newspaper industry, and the Irish Times in particular, should be congratulated on the responsiveness shown to this issue as it gained public attention over the past seven days. Our clients, Women’s Aid, are now in a position to consider whether they wish to purchase a licence from the Newspaper industry with the benefit of the additional clarity today’s statement provides.
Of more general social value, the damaging assertion that permission was required (and could be refused) to link to another website has been abandoned.
For the sake of the country’s free exchange of views, this is a significant development.
You can read the background to this story on our posts: