English High Court finds that headlines can be independent copyright works

13 January 2011

In September 2010, we published an In Brief on Justice Bennett’s decision in Fairfax Media Publications Pty Ltd v Reed International Books Australia Pty Ltd [2010] FCA 984 (Fairfax) in which her Honour held that the newspaper headlines in question were not protected by copyright under Australian law.

In a recent decision of the English High Court in The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd & Ors v Meltwater Holdings BV & Ors [2010] EWHC 3099 (Ch), Justice Proudman reached an opposite conclusion determining that newspaper headlines are capable of copyright protection and that users of online media-monitoring services will infringe the copyright of publishers unless they obtain an appropriate licence.

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