Government refuses to extend legal protection for search engines

There has been some coverage recently of the DTI's Consultation Paper on the question of whether the protection against Copyright actions afforded to Internet Service Providers under Articles 12 to 14 of the Electronic Commerce Directive (2000/31/EC) should be extended to protect search engines, content aggregators and hyperlinkers.

The government’s conclusion is that “currently there is no substantial evidence to support the case for an extension to be afforded to these service providers. In particular, there has been no significant legal action in the UK since the Directive’s implementation in July 2002.

So what does this all really mean? Well this post on Legal IT might help alternatively you can have my view on it which is that Content Providers (Subscription Agents, Aggregators of third party content like Lexis Nexis, Factiva etc) will want to avoid liability for infringements of copyright so we can expect to see Contract terms tightened up in respect of the forwarding and reuse of content.