April 17, 2013

The Guardian | Politico

The Supreme Court of the United Kingdom ruled Wednesday that the news aggregator Meltwater does not violate copyright laws by storing a cached page on app users’ mobile devices and laptops. The court sent the case to the European Court of Justice to ensure that subsequent rulings are consistent across European jurisdictions.

The Guardian’s Lisa O’Carroll reports:

The supreme court said if it had found otherwise, it would have been “an unacceptable result, which would make infringers of many millions of ordinary users of the internet across the EU who use browsers and search engines for private as well as commercial purposes.”

The ruling comes after three years of litigation between Meltwater and the Newspaper Licensing Agency. The chief issue at trial was whether Meltwater’s clients violate copyright laws by browsing cached pages. Users access these pages via links sent by Meltwater.

A U.S. district court previously ruled against Meltwater, on the basis that the service violates the copyright of The Associated Press. (The AP has said that Meltwater “has built its business on the willful exploitation and copying of the AP’s and other publishers’ news articles for profit.”)

Meltwater said it would appeal the U.S. decision. It said previously that the AP’s lawsuit threatened search engines generally and that the lawsuit had harmed its business and relationships with clients.

Previously: AP prevails in Meltwater suit | AP sues aggregator Meltwater News over copyright infringement | Meltwater says AP’s copyright lawsuit threatens all search engines

Support high-integrity, independent journalism that serves democracy. Make a gift to Poynter today. The Poynter Institute is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization, and your gift helps us make good journalism better.

More News

Back to News