Irish Charity Told It Needs To Pay A License Fee To Link To A Newspaper Article

from the uh,-no dept

Via Mathew Ingram we learn of a ridiculous situation in Ireland, where the organization “Newspaper Licensing Ireland” has sent an email to the Women’s Aid charity, telling it that linking to newspaper websites without a license is copyright infringement:

“a licence is required to link directly to an online article even without uploading any of the content directly onto your own website”

The lawyer representing Women’s Aid smartly posted its own reply publicly asking NLI to “specify the statutory basis of this claim.” It also notes the pricelist, including the fact that NLI seems to think that linking to between one and five articles requires €300 annually. Furthermore, the letter notes the terms of service on various news websites that allow linking — even though this is really besides the point, since copyright law does not forbid linking in the first place.

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Companies: newspaper licensing ireland

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Comments on “Irish Charity Told It Needs To Pay A License Fee To Link To A Newspaper Article”

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40 Comments
PaulT (profile) says:

I wish there was something to stop people claiming “copyright infringement” as though that justifies shakedown tactics and removal of private property, and the other things people seem to try. Perhaps that’s why their targeting poorer organisations like charities who can’t afford adequate legal advice to bring charges.

Surely, if they’re sending out these kinds of demands without there actually being a legal requirement, it should count as at least fraud, if not something worse? If there’s no legal basis behind the initial threat, it’s nothing more than a protection racket.

CN says:

Re: Where will it end.

I wish there was something to stop people claiming “copyright infringement” as though that justifies shakedown tactics and removal of private property

Fraud? Perhaps. How about extortion? Regardless, they are shaking down people for money with no legal basis to do so. We should start throwing people in jail over this crap. Maybe that would stop this criminal activity!

Next thing, you’ll turn your head an see someone sitting next to you reading a newspaper, and someone will rush you, point a gun at your head and say “You tried to read that guy’s newspaper! That’s theft. Pay up!”

Anonymous Coward says:

Does it not occur to these vampire organizations that the public hears of these behind the door operations? I don’t know about you but I’ve come to realize that these enforcement operations have reached new lows. Lows that I won’t support, either with money in paying for items nor with favoritism when it comes time that they are once again asking for new laws.

In the case of those like the BSA, RIAA, MPAA, ad nauseum, I can not wait to see these organizations drain their parent companies into bankruptcy. It simply can not happen fast enough. I for one will dance the day the last one goes under.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Has anyone read this idiotic Licensing firms FAQ?

I quote: (via http://www.newspaperlicensing.ie/v2/faq.php )

Q: We don?t photocopy and/or scan information from these newspapers
A: If your organisation does not photocopy and/or scan any information from any of the member titles listed above, we would ask you to sign a declaration form affixing your company stamp and return to Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited, Clyde Lodge, 15 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.[emphasis added]
Click here to download the declaration form.

(Note: declaration form pdf link included on original)

OMG!

Anyone who signs that so called ‘declaration’ (which also has very ambiguous wording) is not only going to be on NLI’s radar of who to look for, but is a big huge sign on the companies data saying “look at us we can be easily scammed”

TAC states they might be the Righthaven of Eire, Seeing as how they actually state on their FAQ that “We are in the process of contacting organisations located within the Republic of Ireland who do not have a current licence to photocopy and/or scan sections or cuttings from our member titles as listed above.” this leads one to think that they are going above and beyond even what Righthaven was doing.

The appropriate response to these fools is not only the snark that was in the reply by the solicitors on behalf of the Womens Group, but in the words of Ken @ Popehat

“Snort my taint!”

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Q: We don?t photocopy and/or scan information from these newspapers
A: If your organisation does not photocopy and/or scan any information from any of the member titles listed above, we would ask you to sign a declaration form affixing your company stamp and return to Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited, Clyde Lodge, 15 Clyde Road, Ballsbridge, Dublin 4.[emphasis added]”

So…anyone NOT photocopying and/or scanning information has to sign a declaration form. As in…EVERYONE ELSE ON THE PLANET?
I thought declaration forms were only for things you intended to do, not to state things you don’t do.

Anonymous Coward says:

‘since copyright law does not forbid linking in the first place.’ why have people like O’Dwyer been charged with copyright infringement when he only had links on his website? why is TPB blocked due to actions by companies like BREIN (acting on behalf of the entertainment industries), when all they have are links on their website? perhaps the ‘copyright law does not forbid linking’ statement is extremely selective?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

O’Dwyer is another head on a pike for the cartels.
TPB is a huge target so any dents they can make will “scare” people away… like when they got them blocked and there was a huge surge in traffic as it was the best advertising for TPB.

These are just pawns in a game, where irrelevant gatekeepers keep flailing claiming it is an outside force killing them dead not their total denial that the world changed and they didn’t keep up. They want to force people to go backwards and not find new ways to do things until the gatekeepers figure out how to keep making the same money when their actual costs keep dropping.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re:

‘since copyright law does not forbid linking in the first place.’ why have people like O’Dwyer been charged with copyright infringement when he only had links on his website?

Thank you for displaying publicly the fact that you are brain dead!

The case you referred to concerned linking to infringing material.

Here we are discussing linking to non-infringing (but copyrighted) material.

mattarse (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Ofcourse every link does, and it’s easy to figure out.

All you have to do is go to a command prompt and type in nslookup followed by the website the link is hosted on.

So for google I would do:
nslookup google.com

The you take the numbers of the IP address – in my case the IP address is 209.85.148.139 and total those:
209 + 85 + 148 + 139 = 580

The higher this number is above 42, then the more likely that the sites links are infringing, and should not be clicked on. I won’t personally click on any going to an IP address higher than 127.0.0.0

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The higher this number is above 42, then the more likely that the sites links are infringing, and should not be clicked on. I won’t personally click on any going to an IP address higher than 127.0.0.0.

Hey…that is my IP address (127.0.0.1.) I spend most of my time there.

Oh well. Guess I am just one of those pirates after all.

Anonymous Coward says:

They need to grow the fuck up… Their website is public domain. If she was posting alt links to ripped copies of the website then yeah they could and should be pissed but not when someone is telling others about the site. I would continue to link and if they wanted me to stop it would be simple.

Make the fucking website a pay site members only. Then it would actually be a little more justified to bitch about it.”Not much but still”

lol (profile) says:

does not compute

This seems like a good move to make everyone else remove any link to your website, which only makes sense if your goal is to disappear from the web. It’s not even economically viable, your hurting your traffic, diminishing ad-revenue for a measly 300$ / year?

If I were the charity site, I’d link to a google ‘I feel lucky’ search which results in the linked page to open, no 300$ for them unless they tell google to remove their link.

Anonymous Coward says:

Way ahead of ya Ireland. In Denmark and Sweden it has been illegal to deep link “copyrighted material” since 2000/2001. (Yes, the cases were about illegal mp3’s, but the rulings saw the linking as a separate crime.) These rulings have later been confirmed by cases about links to newspaper articles.

Many media in Denmark are lax about it and will let “personal private use” be legal while “commercial use” has to pay. Now we only need to know the line between those two broad terms to know if our “illegal” endevour will be overlooked by the kings of media!

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