New Judgment: Public Relations Consultants Association Ltd v The Newspaper Licensing Agency Ltd & Ors  UKSC 18
17 Wednesday Apr 2013
On appeal from:  EWCA Civ 890.
The Court considered whether the appellant’s customers needed a licence to receive its media monitoring service, in order to avoid breach of copyright. The High Court and Court of Appeal held that they did, largely on the ground that making copies, however temporary, in the end-user’s computer while browsing was generated by the user’s voluntary decision to access the webpage. After examining authority, the Court felt that the exception in Art 5.1 of Directive 2001/29/EC applied to temporary copies generated by an end-user of the internet, and as such, a licence should not be required. Cache copies are stored automatically by browsing and deleted automatically by a lapse of time coupled with continuing browser use, rather than being dependent on discretionary human intervention. However, given the appeal’s transnational dimension and potential implications for internet users across the EU, the Court, while expressing its own view of the matter, referred the matter to the CJEU for a preliminary ruling.