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May 25 2010

11:30

NLA’s High Court action no cause for concern, say Meltwater and PRCA

Aggregator Meltwater and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) have said they remain confident that the courts will support their case in the dispute with the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) over new licence fees, despite the NLA’s decision to take the matter to the High Court.

Yesterday the NLA said it had started proceedings against Meltwater and the PRCA to help speed up the process of determining whether its new licences – introduced in January, which affect commercial services using links to its newspaper members’ content – are legal. Meltwater and the PRCA have referred the licences and the NLA to a Copyright Tribunal, but the agency is concerned that the Tribunal does not have the powers to make the ultimate decision on the licences’ legality.

The PRCA and Meltwater released the following joint statement:

Having initially learned about the NLA’s decision to take Meltwater and the PRCA to court through the press, both parties have only just received the papers concerning this claim.

While we understand that the industry will want clarification on this issue, we do not see this development as cause for concern.

Naturally, we are reviewing the papers in consultation with our legal advisors. But not wishing to prejudice our case with the Copyright Tribunal, which we believe to be strong, we will study the NLA’s claim before responding.

We remain confident, however, that the NLA’s proposals for a web licence are flawed and that the courts will support our views on this.

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