McGarr Solicitors V Newspaper Licensing Ireland

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So it begins…

Re: Women’s Aid

Dear Sirs,

We write further to the email of Ms. [redacted] of your office of the 2nd April and subsequent emails and letter of the 3rd April 2012.

We act for Women’s Aid in this matter. Women’s Aid is a registered charity, being a non-profit organisation dedicated to working against violence against women. Our client received, on or about the 27th day of March, 2012, correspondence from Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited, proposing that our client sign and return a licence agreement giving our client “permission to scan clippings for 16 national titles and 90 regional newspapers plus some foreign newspapers”

The letter continued by warning our client that should they fail to comply in circumstances where a licence was required;

“You will be breaking the law; you risk exposing your company to expensive litigation. Reproducing copyright content without permission is theft”

We understand that Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited (“NLI”) is a not-for-profit, limited liability company established in 2002 to collect licence fees for the use of copyrighted newspaper material in Ireland. NLI states that it has been mandated by a number of national and regional newspaper titles to collect licence fees on their behalf.

Our client is a stranger to any such mandate, or any relationship between NLI and any news publication or other copyright owner. In the circumstances, we write seeking some further clarification on a number of matters…

Continued here

Newspaper Licensing Ireland?

26 thoughts on “McGarr Solicitors V Newspaper Licensing Ireland

  1. B

    “Reproducing copyright content without permission is theft”

    Wrong. Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act, 2001: “a person is guilty of theft if he or she dishonestly appropriates property without the consent of its owner and with the intention of depriving its owner of it” copying a work doesn’t deprive an owner of its ownership.

    This conflation has been promoted by the music/film industries for long enough. It’s simply incorrect.

  2. Stewart Curry

    From my reading of it:

    Women’s Aid are a charity
    They post links on their site to articles about them and their work
    NLI want Women’s Aid to give them money for posting links to their members.

    Money. For linking to a newspaper article. Complete nonsense.

  3. neil

    Yeah, the ridiculous bit isn’t really clear in the post or headline, could be worth a summary explaining that they’re looking for money from a charity that is linking to their clients’ websites.

  4. Mr Potato

    newspapers are the way forward. the sooner the internet realises this and goes away, the better for everyone.

  5. Mysterymeat

    This is a bit like the letters the hospital sends out, or rather their debt collectors. My family have had a few, they arrive looking like invoices demanding payment, and only by reading the fine print do you realise that they are looking for you to get your solicitor to pay, if there is a claim involved.
    A bit like the cheques the Reader’s Digest used to send out, only in reverse!

  6. Gruber McFerret

    Are Newspaper Licensing Ireland Limited actually a legitimate business? Who has mandated them to collect monies on their behalf? Who are their clients? For a business they seem to be wilfully ignorant of the law but only for their own benefit. Anyone?

    1. Jockstrap

      They are most likely to be a solicitor’s practice. It’s the kind of work a solicitor would take on under the guise of a company.

  7. Droid

    Do these idiots not realise that if they are successful in making sites pay for links then everyone will stop linking to them? Their google ranking will then drop, followed by traffic and advertising, culminating in a collapse of online revenue and presence.

    1. Mr Potato

      newspapers have a very old fashioned approach to these things. they attach far too much value to their product, and see the internet as a huge threat to their business, rather than embracing it. sadly for them, no pay walls or ridic guardians of their copy like the goons above will prevent their world from disappearing. goodnight sweet print, 1605-2012.

  8. Shane

    Well done McGarr solicitors. That letter is a beauty. Thoroughly researched, well written, and done for free.

    1. Zubeneschamali

      I thought it was over long and legalistic.

      “Go and shite, you shower of chancers!” would do the trick.

  9. Jockstrap

    How does Broadsheet get around this?

    Do they have a Daddy they’re not telling us about?

  10. kerryview

    it’s all bollox. Go to the Irish Independent site – they have ‘copied’ loads of vids from the net AND placed ads at the start of each video – did they get permission for that? bollix

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