Get Google Alerts? You’ll have to pay Murdoch, Desmond and co. £150

Alex Hern reveals the plans of Britain's leading newspaper cartel to monetise Google Alerts and Google News


The Copyright Tribunal has ruled that businesses using services like Google News and Google Alerts will have to pay a fee of £150 to the Newspaper Licensing Agency, an umbrella body that collects and distributes licensing revenue to its Fleet Street members, who include Rupert Murdoch’s News International and Richard Desmond’s Northern and Shell.

Wired UK’s Mark Brown reports:

This came as part of a long running legal case between the NLA, and media-monitoring service Meltwater.

Meltwater’s customers can subscribe to receive alerts when their company is mentioned in the press — with links to the articles in question. But the NLA — which speaks for over a thousand UK papers — argues that this is an infringement of copyright and introduced a licensing scheme for media-monitors that crawl websites, take snippets of text and offer those copies to clients…

The newspaper super-group also revealed in the trial that it will require any business of more than five employees to hold a licence if they want to use Google News or Google Alerts.

One further point is yet to be clarified in the case — whether the mere act of browsing a newspaper company’s website in a workplace is an infringement of copyright, requiring a license. That one will be decided by the Supreme Court in February 2013.

Is this the crony capitalism we’ve heard so much about?

See also:

Dacre recalled to Leveson over Grant ‘mendacious’ claimAlex Hern, February 7th 2012

Express owner: ‘Mail is Britain’s worst enemy’Alex Hern, January 12th 2012

Coogan: “If the Daily Mail went to the wall tomorrow I’d be delighted”Shamik Das, October 13th 2011

Secret trade agreement places western profit over global welfareAlex Hern, September 29th 2011

What does Coulson have on Cameron and Murdoch?Tom Rouse, August 23rd 2011

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