Last year, we wrote about the insane position from the group Newspaper Licensing Ireland (NLI), which represents the major newspapers in Ireland, in demanding that a charity pay them
for linking to newspaper stories. In the last few weeks that story has been getting more and more attention
in Ireland, in part because a related, but different organization representing mostly the same Irish newspapers, National Newspapers of Ireland (NNI), made a submission to a government review of copyright arguing that linking is infringement
if done on any kind of commercial site (so, yeah, they'd probably consider that link to their site infringement).
NNI made a submission to the effect that our view of existing legislation is that the display and transmission of links does constitute an infringement of copyright and our existing copyright law should not be amended in the manner discussed in the Consultation Paper.
Meanwhile, the lawyers representing the charity have noticed that NLI appears to have backtracked ever so slightly
and are now saying that "links alone" are not infringement, but if you include any text, you've gone over the line. They've put up a new statement reading, in part:
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.
Of course, whether or not they consider reproducing that
text as copyright infringement is left as an exercise for the reader.