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.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 30th, 2012 @ 11:52pm

    Righthaven.ie

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:31am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:56am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    icon
    G Thompson (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:56am

    Has anyone read this idiotic Licensing firms FAQ?

    I quote: (via http://www.newspaperlicensing.ie/v2/faq.php )
    Q: We donít 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!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 1:02am

    Re:

    Copyright scope creep on steroids, complete with roid rage.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    icon
    Rikuo (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:04am

    Re:

    "Q: We donít 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
    identicon
    Beech, May 31st, 2012 @ 1:21am

    Clicked the link in comment #4, turns out NLI has a nice handy "contact us" section. pick a company name, contact name, email address, and you can send them a message! Maybe everyone should hop on that and let them know what the people think of them...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    icon
    Vic (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:49am

    So really the paper in question does not want anyone to promote their articles online, meaning they do not want any more readers online... Perhaps we should tell their advertisers...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    icon
    Vic (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 1:53am

    Re:

    MMM... ok never mind... maybe they do not realise that this is happening...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re: Re:

    The papers were told your being robbed blind, and we'll get the money from the filthy pirates for you.

    And now they will reap what they sowed. Not being bright enough to ask what they do, and how they do it and just signing on the dotted line to get paid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:11am

    '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?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:13am

    Newsflash, if you turn a product into shit, people will stop using shit product.

    When you break an already working, bought for, USED, product, you can bet your life your gonna have pissed of people when you change how we can use said product, because of stupid business orientated SHIT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:43am

    Re: Re:

    That was my take on it. Fun project: Get everyone you can to download that form, print it, sign it (not necessarily with their legal name) and mail it to the company.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    It's like a physical DDOS.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 2:52am

    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"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 3:04am

    This is the result of the moronic war on linking websites like the Pirate Bay, you see after one judge said linking can be infringing all the other people thought it is open day for linking.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 3:41am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 3:52am

    And they want ppl to respect copyright. Right.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    icon
    Ruud (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 4:01am

    As pointed out by the lawyers, each of these articles come with an array of buttons to share them on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and lots of other services. Clicking any of them would require you to pay fees to Newspaper Licensing Ireland. Such a clever way to save the dead tree media.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 4:25am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    lol, May 31st, 2012 @ 4:40am

    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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 4:48am

    What mental gymnastics does one need to perform in order to not see such cases as anything but attempted extortion?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    icon
    DannyB (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 6:16am

    They don't go far enough

    Not only should others have to pay to link to their newspaper, but others should have to pay to:

    * talk about their paper
    * display their paper on a newsstand
    * have the privilege of transmitting content of their paper to end user browsers

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 6:25am

    Re:

    "Clicked the link in comment #4, turns out NLI has a nice handy "contact us" section. pick a company name, contact name, email address, and you can send them a message! Maybe everyone should hop on that and let them know what the people think of them..."


    Done!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 6:31am

    Didn't your mother every tell you it is not polite to link, er, point.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    icon
    BentFranklin (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 6:37am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Save a stamp and fax it to: 01 668 9872

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 6:43am

    Re:

    Did you pay a license to link to their site's licensing faq?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    icon
    Leigh Beadon (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 6:50am

    Re:

    Well, their website is certainly not public domain - but yes it is definitely public, which I think is what you meant. And yeah it's insane to claim infringement over linking to something public.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 7:34am

    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!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Boost, May 31st, 2012 @ 7:48am

    Re: Re:

    Oh, so every link on the internet tells you whether it's infringing on a copyright or not? I didn't know that. Thanks.

    /s

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    icon
    mattarse (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 9:16am

    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

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 9:20am

    Re: Re:

    Material cannot be infringing. Only people can. Infringement is when materials are distributed without permission, but its the act that is illegal, not the stuff itself.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 31st, 2012 @ 9:23am

    Re: does not compute

    That gives me an idea for a new torrent site!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    icon
    DH's Love Child (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:22am

    Re:

    So, in other words, in Sweden and Denmark, they want people to pay for the privilege of promoting their newspapers? Well, that's easy, direct people to the same article on a non-Scandinavian site who will be more than happy to get the traffic necessary for the ad revenue... that's asinine!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    icon
    ken (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 11:43am

    Licencing company guilty of fraud

    It appears this licencing company is guilty of fraud by requesting payment where they are not entitled and are simply making this request in hopes that some will comply being ignorant of the law.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    icon
    ltlw0lf (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: 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.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    CN, May 31st, 2012 @ 12:42pm

    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!"

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Dr Evil, May 31st, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    pay yer fees...

    obviously you guys/gals have never lived in or about the UK.
    They charge a license fee for receive TV, so nothing is free there...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    Dr Evil, May 31st, 2012 @ 5:23pm

    pay yer fees...

    obviously you guys/gals have never lived in or about the UK.
    They charge a license fee for receive TV, so nothing is free there...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    icon
    AMCApril (profile), May 31st, 2012 @ 5:49pm

    they shoudln't make them pay any money for linking
    like hey
    I have posted links of news from newspapers before on facebook man...

    this is just stupid of them to make them pay a free >.>

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    icon
    PaulT (profile), Jun 1st, 2012 @ 1:04am

    Re: pay yer fees...

    Obviously you've never looked at a map, since you don't know that Ireland is not part of the UK...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This