It is a move that would force online news clippings agencies to pay for providing links to newspaper stories from 1 January.
The NLA claims the move will regulate companies that profit from selling links, stating: “This is not about links: it is about profiting from someone else’s intellectual property without paying your fair share of the cost.”
Norway-based Meltwater Group CEO Jorn Lysegge says ‘This fee is not only unjust and unreasonable, it is contrary to the very spirit of the internet.”
In a statement on the Meltwater website Francis Ingham, director general of the Public Relations Consultants Association, said: “This is an absurd tax which we believe has no legal justification. We are delighted Meltwater is taking a stand against the NLA and will examine whether we can intervene to strengthen their case in the interest of our members. It is ludicrous for organisations to need a licence to receive links to coverage that is freely available to view online.”
The UK Copyright Tribunal has not yet announced if they will call a hearing.