News & Events

PDLN conference 2019 - Berlin. Venue announced.

Hidden down a quiet street in Berlin's Prenzlauer Berg district you'll find a chic hotel that's making quite a splash – just be sure to keep an eye out or you might walk straight past it.

Hotel Oderberger is housed within an imposing brick building (with a very discreet sign) that for almost a century served as a public bathhouse. Closed in 1986, it underwent a four-year renovation that kicked off in 2012 before reopening as a hotel in January 2016. Original features have been carefully restored, and private bathing rooms have now been turned into guestrooms.

Whether we make it more or less chic is for others to judge, but the 2019 PDLN conference will be held at the Hotel Oderberger, in Berlin May 26-28. The  conference website contains further details. 


Australian Competition Regulator Fires Warning Shots at Google

A draft report from Australia’s competition regulator (ACCC) into the market power of digital search engines, social media platforms, and digital content aggregators has been published.

The ACCC makes a number of policy recommendations including strengthen our merger laws, preventing mobile operators installing default search settings (e.g. for Google), setting up a new regulatory authority to monitor, investigate and report on the behaviour of such entities (with over $100 million turn over in revenue).

“The regulatory authority could have the power to investigate complaints, initiate its own investigations, make referrals to other government agencies and to publish reports and make recommendations.”

The ACCC finds that Google has a substantial degree of market power in a number of markets including the -on-line search market (94% of searches in Australia are through Google), the supply of on-line search advertising and the supply of news media and referral services.  They also find Facebook has a substantial degree of market power in the market for social media services, display advertising and the supply of news referral services.

The ACCC also says  that they both act like media companies (compiling content etc.) but are not subject to traditional media regulation (which does impose costs, such as Australian content quotas, on news media  organisations).


Barcelona sunshine - web licensing seminar  

Bob Johns, NLA, talking on paywall solutions

CEDRO and Catalunya laid on a late autumn treat in late November with a well attended seminar on web licensing and some stunning weather. Many PDLN European members are preparing for the new EU DSM directive which will potentially create new licensing roles between platforms and publishers. The steady growth of B2B web content use is also encouraging the development of MMO web licensing solutions. At the seminar CFC presented an update on their novel website protection techmology which is now being deployed to support licensing of web scrapers. PMG provided an update on the German licensing roll out, and NLA talked throuh learnings from the Meltwater case that might be applied in other countries, and how it addresses the content access issues arising from growing use of paywalls. CEDRO had good news to share on local developments, especially new revisions to Spanish law which will support MMO and end user licensing.     

PDLN are now planning a seminar on licensing and media evaluation. The likely date is late February, in Portugal. Please register interest and suggestions to 


New Zealand - UK Partnership Announced 

NLA licensees will now be able to copy most New Zealand newspapers under the terms of their NLA licences, following an agreement reached between NLA media access and PMCA, New Zealand’s newspaper licensing agency. NLA and PMCA are PDLN members, making this one of many licensing advances PDLN has helped create.

This new agreement further simplifies licensing of international content, and builds on the growing range of agreements NLA has reached with its peers abroad. NLA users can now copy content from over 20 major countries using their UK NLA agreement. 

The agreement is reciprocal, and allows PMCA licensees to use UK content. This covers print and web content, and includes rights for media monitoring companies as well as businesses and PR users.

NLA and PMCA are focused on making copyright compliance easy. They know that international content is increasingly important to businesses. Andrew Hughes of NLA said ""We will continue to work to make it easier for UK plc to access and use international news, and to support use of UK content in other territories ".  


Copyright Agency takes on Universities Australia

PDLN member the Copyright Agency has lodged an action in the Copyright Tribunal to determine the value of the copyright licence Australian universities rely on to copy and share extensive amounts of educational content. The action comes after a breakdown in commercial discussions with Universities Australia (UA), for a new licensing agreement, beginning in 2019. UA represents 39 Australian universities in these discussions.

The action follows significant disputes between licensing bodies and universities in Canada, New Zealand and recent developments in a long running US case between CCC and Georgia State University. In each case licensing organisations have made progress against determined resistance from the academic sector.

The Copyright Agency’s licence covers copyright material that is a core input into teaching at Australia’s 39 universities. It covers more than 10 million pages (digital and hard copy) annually – for the sector’s 1.4 million students, 60,000 academics and 70,000 professional staff.

The annual cost of the university licence is currently $32.5m, or 9 cents per student per day. The fee has been decreasing in real terms, given inflation, the rapid growth in student numbers and the fact there has been a huge increase in the digital platforms available for copying and sharing material.The current copyright fee represents 0.11% of total universities expenditure of $28.6 billion (in 2016).

Copyright Agency CEO Adam Suckling says, “The explosion of digital content has radically changed the way universities provide educational content to students. The educational statutory licence, which Copyright Agency administers, provides access to an enormous amount of material, including material that is printed, digitally stored and communicated to students across multiple digital platforms.

“Licence fees support the Australian educational publishing industry to continue to produce high-quality educational material. Not paying a fair rate undermines the ability of publishers, authors and artists to invest, innovate and develop more Australian content".

Copyright Agency is also in dispute with local MMOs and the NSW state government.

Canadian Exclusives worry market

Following Cision's acquisition of French language specialist aggregator CEDROM and Meltwater's purchase of its competitor Informart, Cision have signed an excusive agreement with Globe and Mail. Smaller MMOs are anxious that - as in some Nordic countries - users will face issues getting comprehensive coverage.

Cordoba ruling welcomed

A welcome new  judgement ECJ on the Cordoba case makes the rules on whether the audience is a 'new public' simple and clear. In short you need the copyright owners consent in all cases. They say "the posting of a work protected by copyright on one website, other than that on which the initial communication was made with the consent of the copyright holder,…must be treated as making such a work available to a new public". See . The rules around using links have also been getting clearer - they not allowed for profit. There is an even simpler rule. If you copy or link for commercial gain, get a licence.


About PDLN

PDLN aims to protect and promote the interest of publishers in media monitoring services. Its members seek to encourage the development of simple, efficient market solutions to the supply and use of press information internationally. PDLN works to share best practice in licensing and supply and to create forums for content owners and users to come together to solve the challenges of improving these services. The Press Database and Licensing Network (PDLN) is an association representing organisations owned or controlled by publishers who license or supply newspaper, magazine and website material for media monitoring, press cutting and press review services. PDLN was founded in 2008 and has grown rapidly. PDLN has 27 members in 23 countries.