Copyright Tribunal decision in media monitoring case

July 19, 2022

The Copyright Tribunal (‘the Tribunal’) has released its decision in the long running matter involving 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. In October 2021, the Tribunal delivered its decision which largely dismissed this model in favour of alternative arrangements proposed by the MMOs. The Tribunal withheld publishing its full findings and details of the agreement that will extend to 2025 at that time while matters of commercial confidentiality were considered. They have now been published here.

Copyright Agency sought judicial review of certain aspects of the Tribunal’s decision. The Full Federal Court heard this appeal in early May 2022 and the Court has reserved its judgement. In the meantime, Isentia and Meltwater operate on the basis of the Tribunal ordered licence terms which are a long way removed from the model we developed on behalf of members and rights holders.

While disappointing, we acknowledge this means that while we wait for the outcome of the appeal, we need to review our approach to what is a complex and evolving area of licensing globally with differing frameworks between rights holders and content users applied around the world.

The way media companies publish content has changed substantially in recent years with the rapid growth of digital content and multiple delivery channels. Accordingly, there will be an ongoing need to review and appropriately update licensing frameworks. The common goal should be to provide a fair and sustainable framework for all parties, and Copyright Agency will continue to advocate for our members and rights holders in this regard.

Considering the Tribunal decision, and the constant evolution of media content delivery and use, Copyright Agency has already engaged an independent expert to provide advice on how to best approach the development of recommendations for future MMO licence agreements.


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.

In the most recent reporting period (2020/21), Copyright Agency allocated $102M to more than 17,000 recipients, collected $1.2M in artists’ resale royalties, and approved nearly $2M for 99 projects from the Cultural Fund.

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


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