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Sunday, November 28, 2010

High Court Rules Headline Aggregation Illegal

The High Court has determined that newspapers have a right to sell redistributors licenses, and those who aggregate and redistribute the papers' headlines are infringing on copyright.

The Newspaper Licensing Agency has been cleared to charge websites for "carrying" their headlines. All websites which allow customers to access headlines through an aggregate (such as RSS) must contract with the NLA to provide them. The NLA was formed and is run by the leaders of the eight largest newspapers in the nation.

Critics are concerned that this is an opening to commercial links -- forcing people to pay for linking to content -- but RSS and aggregators are a different animal. If you want to force people to pay for your content, you establish a "paywall," forcing potential viewers to register/subscribe to access the content.

The ruling judge made it clear that the decision was to be appealed.

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

UPDATE:  Aaron Swartz, inventor of RSS, was murdered in 2013. - 2018

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