Now the process is done mainly electronically through a variety of techniques. In the UK you can get a licence from the Newspaper Licensing Agency which is specially tailored to the needs (and peace of mind) of press cuttings agencies. In Denmark, however, an agency provoked confrontation by seeking a declaration that its complex five-part scanning, search and printing process did not infringe any copyright in the content since the elements of its process that were in dispute were merely transient copies with no economic significance and were thus entitled to the benefit of Article 5 of the Directive on Copyright in the Information Society.
This afternoon the ECJ gave its ruling, generalising across the 13 separate and in some respects over-detailed questions referred to it:
"1. An act occurring during a data capture process, which consists of storing an extract of a protected work comprising 11 words and printing out that extract, is such as to come within the concept of reproduction in part within the meaning of Article 2 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, if the elements thus reproduced are the expression of the intellectual creation of their author; it is for the national court to make this determination.The Court took the opportunity to remind us that Article 5, since it contains exceptions to the basic principle that copyright works are protected, must be construed narrowly.
2. The act of printing out an extract of 11 words, during a data capture process such as that at issue in the main proceedings, does not fulfil the condition of being transient in nature as required by Article 5(1) of Directive 2001/29 and, therefore, that process cannot be carried out without the consent of the relevant rightholders".