UK High Court Ruled 'Headlines are Copyright', News Monitoring Agencies Must Pay to Publishers to Use their Web Content

The UK's High Court has ruled that "headlines are now considered separate literary works, and thus subject to copyright, -- means clients of aggregation websites that charge for a service will have to pay for a license in order to use headlines, links and short extracts from online stories."The ruling followed a legal wrangle between […]

The UK's High Court has ruled that "headlines are now considered separate literary works, and thus subject to copyright, -- means clients of aggregation websites that charge for a service will have to pay for a license in order to use headlines, links and short extracts from online stories."

The ruling followed a legal wrangle between the Newspaper Licensing Agency, jointly owned by eight of UK's largest newspaper groups, and Meltwater, a "news crawler".

Press cuttings agencies pay NLA a fee for reproducing full-length articles. But Meltwater was unhappy that its clients would need a licence from NLA for the use of headlines and short extracts from stories in its aggregation service.

Meltwater said "simply browsing copyright-protected content made freely available on the internet will infringe copyright if it's read without a rightsholder licence. We believe that browsing content made available on the internet shouldn't infringe copyright."

"We estimate the total UK market for online news monitoring to be worth around £10 million. As newspapers' content is central to the market, we believe publishers should earn a fair share of revenues from paid-for monitoring," said David Pugh, md NLA.

Meltwater indicated that it would appeal against the decision.

[Source]