|Privately held company|
|Founded||2001, Oslo, Norway|
|Headquarters||Silicon Valley, San Francisco, United States|
Number of employees
|approx. 1,600 (2017)|
Meltwater is a software as a service (SaaS) company that develops and markets media monitoring and business intelligence software. The company was founded in Oslo, Norway, by Jørn Lyseggen, in 2001 and is headquartered in San Francisco, California, with additional offices across Europe, North America, Asia/Pacific, Australia, and Africa. The company employs more than 1000 people and has more than 23,000 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.
The company was founded in 2001 as Magenta News by Jørn Lyseggen and Gard Haugen. The company's first product was a news clipping service that scanned 100,000 news sources to collect keywords of relevance to its business customers. The pair bootstrapped the company with $15,000 USD. In 2005, the company relocated its headquarters to San Francisco and changed its name to Meltwater News. In 2008, through the company's non-profit arm, the Meltwater Foundation, Lyseggen launched the Meltwater Entrepreneurial School of Technology in Accra, Ghana to provide entrepreneurial, software and business training to its Entrepreneurs in Training (EITs).
In 2010, the company announced the release of Meltwater Press, a web-based media contact database that uses natural language processing technology to connect journalists with their most relevant covered topics. After the acquisitions of the Banglore-based social media monitoring company, BuzzGain in 2010, and the CRM software developer JitterJam in February 2011, Meltwater released the social marketing and business intelligence tool Buzz Engage in June 2011. In August 2011, the company acquired the real-time social search engine, IceRocket, and integrated its functionality into its rebranded Buzz Engage platform, Meltwater Buzz.
In 2015, the company launched a new media intelligence platform, called "Meltwater," as a unified solution to solve marketing and business problems with the insights derived from the billions of online conversations and documents living outside company firewalls. In March 2016, Meltwater acquired the analytics startup, Encore Alert, and integrated its functionality into its Smart Alert product offering. In February 2017, Meltwater acquired Wrapidity, an Oxford University spin-out, to add AI to media monitoring capabilities automating extraction of data from unstructured web-based content.
Meltwater has been involved in legal proceedings surrounding the legality of temporary copies and its online media clipping service. It was ruled unlawful in the United States under the "fair use" doctrine and lawful in the UK (under UK and EU copyright law).
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. All claims and counterclaims were dismissed in July 2013.
In the UK
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). and 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. However, on July 27, 2011, Meltwater lost upon appeal in the UK High Court.
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 Meltwater'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
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