Apple reported to police by Danish press publishers and journalists

After continuous attempts to get Apple to pay for using content from Danish publishers and journalists in its news widget, the Danish rights holders see no other way than to report Apple to the police

Apple has crawled Danish publishers’ websites for years and used their content in its news widget on Apple devices for the Danish market. Apple has never asked for permission or paid a dime. The rights holders have over the past two and a half years tried to get a dialogue with Apple without success. Apple has made it crystal clear in written response several times that it will not comply with the press publishers’ neighbouring rights in the DSM directive (EU 2019/790) and the Danish transposition hereof. Therefore a police report is necessary.

The objective of the DSM directive is to support media pluralism and democracy by ensuring that news aggregators such as Apple contribute to the ecosystem they benefit from.

In today’s digital society, tech companies like Apple, social media platforms, and AI services bear a significant responsibility to ensure that the rights of creators who produce content are honored.

Maria Fredenslund, CEO of the Danish Rights Alliance: “If tech companies wish to feature and distribute content from Danish media and journalists, they simply must get permission from right holders and pay for it. Apple has categorically rejected any attempt to engage in dialogue about an agreement with the rights holders, leaving us no other option than to take legal action. We cannot afford to wait 15 years for them to come to the negotiating table on their own – it’s too important.”

Tine Johansen, chairperson of the Danish Journalists’ Association – Media & Communication: “As a representative of professional writers and photographers, it is important for the Danish Association of Journalists to send a clear message that it is unacceptable when Apple or other tech giants parasitize text and photos from Danish media. When the economies of the journalistic media are undermined in this way, it can in the long run threaten the free press – and thus democracy in Denmark.”

Christina Blaagard: chairperson of the Danish Media Association: “Big tech has for years been a wild west on the ip-front. In order for democracies to thrive we need free independent providers of critical information, which in turn demands a protection of the rights to that content. The political will has proven itself to change the wild west status, and we as independent publishers back that up.”

Karen Rønde, CEO of the DPCMO: “Big tech can break democracy. Knowledge and reliable information are our best defence. That is why policy makers introduced a neighbouring right. That is why we today have reported Apple to the Danish police for its violation of the Danish Copyright Act.”