PR Newswire now claims copyright on press releases distributed through the Cision and PR Newswire system.
Their pitch: “Share your brand’s story around the world,” but that’s where it ends. When eTN, as a media outlet for travel and tourism news, tried to publish a release distributed to journalists by PR Newswire, they were told the release must be removed immediately. In addition, PR Newswire threatened eTurboNews with their legal counsel claiming copyright of releases from PR Newswire or Cision circulates on behalf of clients.
Here is the letter received by eTurboNews from a PR Newswire/Cision director:
“Subject: removal request
Please immediately remove the following posting from your site: [website name removed]
PR Newswire distributed this release on behalf of our client [client name removed]
[company name removed] is understandably upset that the release is posted on your site, tagged with Travel & Tourism Industry release: at the start of the text.
As you can see below in the release that we distributed that we did not include any coding or tagging on our end to indicate that the release is relevant to the Travel & Tourism industry: [website link removed]
Please completely remove the posting from your site as soon as possible, and confirm when complete.
Additionally, I am unable to find a licensing agreement between PR Newswire and eTN, or any other associated websites. If you do have a licensing agreement in which PR Newswire has licensed your sites to publish our content, please send a copy to me as soon as possible.
If you do not have a licensing agreement, we request that you remove all PR Newswire content from all of your sites. If I should have our Counsel send an official request, please let me know to whom it should be resent.
Director CISION PR Newswire”
eTN Publisher Juergen Steinmetz said: “It appears PR Newswire is not only charging a steep amount of money from companies wanting their releases circulated through their system to journalists but also is now trying to license this content as their copyrighted material. eTN receives more than 2,000 story ideas on a daily basis, we don’t rely on PR Newswire for content, and for sure we won’t pay them a licensing fee for a ‘privilege’ to publish such content.
“I urge everyone using PR Newswire services to take a look at this article explaining their modus of operation and misleading reports.
“PR Newswire is now directly competing with publications. This will result in a drastic drop in pick-ups. They are obviously upset with the attention eTN has gotten for our stories’ visibility way ahead of PR Newswire when it comes to our industry segment.
“eTN will not remove any content already published. We will hesitate to consider any future content circulated by PR Newswire and Cision. We don’t consider PR Newswire content to have copyright restrictions, however, I would say journalists of any publication should be warned to consider taking content from them.”
Therefore, in the future, if you would like eTurboNews to consider your press releases for publication, you will need to send it to us directly