|Type||Privately held company|
|Founded||2001, Oslo, Norway|
|Headquarters||San Francisco, United States|
|Employees||approx. 1000 (2014)|
Meltwater Group is a software as a service (SaaS) company founded in Oslo, Norway, in 2001 based on research originally funded by the Norwegian Computing Center. Founder and CEO Jørn Lyseggen also founded a number of other startups. Since 2001, it has added offices in Europe, North America, Asia/Pacific, Australia, and Africa.
Now headquartered in San Francisco, California, the company offers software as a service products in a variety of market verticals. The company employs more than 900 people and has more than 20,000 clients internationally.
The Meltwater Foundation, a non-profit branch of the company, provides entrepreneurial and software training to promising young African students at the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST) in Accra, Ghana.
- Meltwater News, formerly known as Magenta News, is an online media intelligence service which searches news sources for keywords of relevance to its business customers.
- Meltwater Buzz is a social media measurement tool for tracking and analysis of user-generated content on the web.
- Meltwater Press is a web-based media contact database that uses natural language processing technology to connect journalists with their most relevant covered topics. It can be used to find journalists related to an industry topic, and distribute company news to chosen journalists.
- Meltwater Reach, a search engine marketing solution that automates online advertising campaigns, was sold to Geary LSF.
- Meltwater Foundation is Meltwater’s non-profit arm; it funds the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology (MEST), a two-year entrepreneurial training program in Accra, Ghana.
Two parallel cases developed, one in the United States, one in the United Kingdom. In each case, the legality of temporary copies and the online clipping service—offered to Meltwater's clients—was in dispute. It was ruled unlawful in the United States under the "fair use" doctrine and lawful in the UK (under UK and EU copyright law).
Essentially the two cases covered the same issue (Meltwater's media clippings shown to clients online) and with the same defendant, Meltwater Group. The plaintiff differed, being a UK copyright collection society (UK) rather than Associated Press (USA), but upon parallel grounds.
In the United States
On March 21, 2013, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote of the Southern District of New York rejected Meltwater's claims that its use of Web stories drawn from a scan of 162,000 news websites from more than 190 countries was a fair use of copyright-protected material, in a lawsuit brought by The Associated Press.
The Associated Press and Meltwater dismissed all claims and counterclaims in July 2013. After the litigation, the Associated Press and Meltwater partnered to develop new products that's aim would be to benefit both companies.
In the UK
NLA media access, part of the Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA), a licensing organization, introduced a license covering media monitoring services which crawl sites and offer paid-for services based on its filtered results. Relevant results are shown to clients who pay Meltwater but do not themselves have a license from a newspaper company or copyright service to read the original mention. The case revolved around whether a client lacking a license would infringe copyright by being shown, and viewing, the extracts from copyrighted material in this way (it was common ground that to subsequently view a full article would require a license). The majority of media monitoring agencies signed up for the new NLA web licence with the exception of Meltwater Group who argued no license was required by its clients for this purpose, and in conjunction with the PRCA referred the scheme to the Copyright Tribunal, and the matter was escalated.
The eventual case revolved around whether a client lacking a license would infringe copyright by being shown, and viewing, the extracts from copyrighted material in this way (it was common ground that to subsequently view a full article would require a license). The case was due to be heard in February 2011.
In mid-March 2010, in an interim jurisdiction question the Copyright Tribunal ruled in favor of Meltwater and the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), with the NLA was ordered to pay the costs of the suit. The Times Online – not part of the NLA licence – had separately started to block Meltwater's web crawler from its site. However, on July 27, 2011, Meltwater lost upon appeal in the UK High Court.
However, the decision was reversed in 2013 by the UK Supreme Court, which ruled Meltwater's activities legal—subject to certain questions referred to the European Court of Justice intended to clarify matters of a cross-border nature. The rationale was that viewing of copyright works was not, and had never been, illegal in either the UK or European law,:item 36 and Article 5.1 of the European Directive Directive 2001/29/EC (which covers "temporary copies":item 9,11]) permitted automated copying of a temporary nature for a lawful purpose. As mere viewing by Meltware's clients was lawful under UK and EU law, the technical automated creation of temporary copies to enable and facilitate this were also lawful.:item 16–17
- "Meltwater Group Inc. Profile". Inc.
- "Meltwater Group Buys Social CRM Startup JitterJam For $6 Million". TechCrunch. March 22, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Meltwater Acquires Mark Cuban-Backed Realtime Search Engine IceRocket". TechCrunch. August 4, 2011. Retrieved 2012-11-15.
- "Meltwater Group Launches New Service For Media Outreach". Prweb.com. May 13, 2010.
- LSF, Geary. "Geary LSF Group Acquires Paid Media Leader Meltwater Reach. Partnership Expands Paid Media Digital Engagement Expertise". PRWeb.
- Masnick, Mike (March 17, 2010). "UK's Times Online Starts Blocking Aggregators Hours After Aggregators Win Copyright Tribunal Ruling Against Newspapers". Tech Dirt.
- Charlton, Graham (3 November 2009). "The NLA explains why it is going after the news aggregators". Econsultancy.com.
- Cartmell, Matt (15 March 2010). "Copyright Tribunal rules in favour of PRCA after NLA challenges license opposition". PRWeek.
- Orlowski, Andrew (28 July 2011). "News leech loses appeal on High Court copyright case". The Register.
- Conlon, Edward (27 July 2011). "Meltwater Loses Headline Appeal". Managing Intellectual Property.