According to various news sources, National Newspapers of Ireland now is demanding a fee from commercial websites that link to newspaper articles of its member papers. The group argues that linking to news articles is a violation of copyright. They do exclude personal non-commercial blogs and websites from this policy
It is highly dubious to argue linking to news articles is copyright violation. Normally a copyright violation occurs when you substantially or in whole reprint an article without permission of its owner. No argument on that point but when you start demanding fees for merely linking to news articles, that is going too far. Here in the U.S., it is generally allowed to link to news articles without having to pay a fee to the copyright holder.
This site is outside of Ireland and while they can send a bill to us, we can decline to pay and let the courts figure it out. It is a stupid policy and NNI ought to rescind it. Since they demand money for links, this site will no longer provide them. We will publish the paper name, date, and title of article and nothing else. The rest will be up to the reader.
Anyone else want to comment on this policy?
1. AFP, Irish newspapers on defence over sharing links, 4 Jan 2013
Irish Independent, Linking to newspaper websites for profit needs licence, says NNI, 6 Jan 2013
4. The Journal.ie, Column: Newspapers are seeking to outlaw the free exchange of ideas, 4 Jan 2013