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Logo / information use in article on website - Fair dealing?

Posted: Thu Sep 22, 2016 8:53 pm
by surfgatinho
Hi Andy,

Wondered if you might be able to lend me some expertise.

I have an article that describes an award and then lists all the beaches which have received this award. The awards are made by a "charity" and are tourism related - so one would assume the more publicity the better.

However, I have received emails from the organisation requesting I stop using their logo and remove the information.

It doesn't really make much difference to me in terms of business whether the info is on my website. On the other hand I think people find it useful and I have gone to the effort of researching and collating it.

Now, I understand the principle of fair use / fair dealing but wonder if it fits this scenario. The information is updated yearly and will be entitled "Award beaches 2016".
Would you think this counted as a either "reporting of current events" or "review" as exempted by fair dealing?

Many thanks,

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:37 am
by AndyJ
Hi Chris,

Maybe I'm wrong but I am assuming that the charity you refer to is the Marine Conservation Society. If that is so then their website bears the following copyright notice:
Copyright MCS 2016 All rights reserved. Marine Conservation Society
and so it seems clear they have not released the information under an open public licence, and thus perhaps it is not surprising that they have asked you to remove their content from your website. Although they do not say so, their content is probably protected by database right, which is slightly different to copyright in that it seeks to protect the investment which has been made in compiling data into a database, even if the actual data or information itself may be in the public domain.

The fair dealing exceptions do not cover database right.

However, the MCS do not claim that they are not the source of the data they use, so it should be open to you to compile your own data from the same sources that they quote. You can find more details here.

Posted: Fri Sep 23, 2016 9:16 pm
by surfgatinho
Hi Andy,

Many thanks for your reply. Some very interesting stuff there, particularly the "database right" which I hadn't heard of before.

Actually the awarding body isn't the MCS - it is the "Green Coast" award. This is somewhat different to the MCS data - whose source data is freely available via the Environment Agency.

The only common data I have used is to list the beaches that have been given the award in 2016, along with the Green Coast logo.
I think it would be a little draconian to try to embargo publishing information on which beaches have attained this award.

Whilst I think they would be happier if I didn't publish this information it seems their biggest (and possibly most enforceable) bone of contention is the use of their logo in the article.

Posted: Sat Sep 24, 2016 5:39 am
by AndyJ
Hi Chris,

Thanks for the correction about MCS / Green Coast. However I think the point about database right probably still holds for Green Coast. And yes, the logo is most likely to be the most clear-cut copyright (and possibly trade mark) issue they are comcermed about.