October 16, 2021

On Friday, the Copyright Tribunal delivered its decision in relation to the rate that media monitoring companies, iSentia and Meltwater, should pay to use news publishers’ print and digital content in their monitoring services.

The media monitoring organisations’ (MMOs) case began in 2017 following the development of a new licensing model by the Copyright Agency.

The model sought to provide both a fair return for the use of members’ valuable content and a pricing methodology more appropriate for digital use.

While these matters were heard, the MMOs continued to be licensed under interim arrangements ordered by the Copyright Tribunal. Fair payment for the use of such content is important to sustaining Australian journalism, which is so critical to Australia’s civic, commercial and democratic health.

Copyright Agency and Streem entered into a new commercial agreement in October 2020 and settled their Tribunal action. The new agreement licenses content from Australia’s leading publishers – including News Corp, Nine Publishing, WAN, ARE Media (formerly Bauer), Australian Associated Press (AAP) and thousands more independent publishers and content producers across the country – for Streem’s monitoring service and for downstream use by Streem’s corporate and government clients.

Following the Streem agreement, the Tribunal adjourned the proceedings to give Isentia and Meltwater time to consider that new model in the context of their Tribunal applications. The hearing resumed in February 2021 and ran for three weeks with additional days in March for closing submissions.

The Tribunal’s decision is currently confidential and unpublished in its full form. Given the complexity of the matter and the Tribunal’s reasoning, Copyright Agency considers it appropriate to first consider the decision and its implications before responding further. However, the decision is contrary to Copyright Agency’s position as to the fair value of news articles in a world transformed by digital technology, and it will be considering its avenues for judicial review of the decision.

Media Enquiries
Kate Pasterfield
Director – Corporate Affairs, Copyright Agency
m: 0437 965 071

About the Copyright Agency

The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licences for the use of text and images, as well as the resale royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free.

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