Shops must obtain a commercial subscription, at $199 per store, in order to borrow quotes from Parker or any of the Wine Advocate’s seven other reviewers, or even to quote the points that wines receive.
Mark Wrigglesworth of The Good Wine Shop in west London has been contacted by the publisher and asked to stop quoting Parker reviews on his website as he does not have a commercial licence to do so.
Wrigglesworth says: “I am somewhat surprised that it is possible to to copyright something that is in the public domain.”
Using the words of wine critics on shelf-talkers and other marketing material is an issue that can create headaches for independents.
Although Matthew Jukes argues that Parker points are in the public domain, he himself charges for the use of material he self-publishes on his website. Martin Isark, who has taken legal action against Majestic and Direct Wines for using his quotes without permission, demands £15,000 for his words to be used in marketing.
Anthony Rose and Victoria Moore, meanwhile, do not charge a fee.