News & Events

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.

FIBEP conference report

The growing MMO - publisher dialogue was evident in Copenhagen this week. The hosts were Infomedia, whose CEO Thomas Veljmund is also a PDLN board member. New PDLN member, Alice Ting of New York Times made a keynote presentation, PDLN Secretary General Andrew Hughes presented a copyright update, and APA, PMG, and CCC attended. The recent EC DSM vote has focused attention on how web content will be licensed, a step forward from the exemptions being sought earlier this year. AI, data mining and adding value were also hot topics. 

Publisher's Right Marches On

The EC Parliaments decisive approval of the amended JURI report means the Commission, the Parliament and Council now move forward to define details of its implementation. There are potentially positive implications for European PDLN members, and a clear signal that aggregators - including MMOs - will need to licence web content.    

The Publishers’ Right:

  • gives publishers the legal standing already enjoyed by music, film and broadcasters which the press needs to assert its copyright online
  • encourages companies that wish to re-use and monetise publishers’ content to negotiate licences
  • excludes individuals from the scope of the right – their right to share links will remain untouched
  • entitles journalists to a fair share of any additional licence revenue granted by the Right
  • specifically excludes hyperlinks from the scope of protection
  • is essential for small newspapers and magazines with their numerous journalistic digital startups across Europe who have even greater challenges than large publishing groups when attempting to exercise their rights against US corporations

PDLN Berlin 2019 

The 2019 PDLN conference will be hosted by PMG in Berlin. The provisional dates are Sunday May 26- Tuesday May 28.  More updates soon. 



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.

PDLN welcomes IFRRO.

The network keeps growing. PDLN is pleased to announce that IFRRO ( is joining PDLN as an observer member.

Cision Acquisition continues with ShareIQ Visual Recognition Technology 

Cision announced at the end of July that it has acquired the technical assets of Berlin-based ShareIQ, which discovers, analyzes and indexes original pieces of visual content Cision claims this means it has become "the first earned media platform in the industry to monitor, analyze and attribute value to both text and visual content". Others might say using technology for ad monitoring is a natiral development.  

Kevin Akeroyd, Cision CEO, said. "With more than three billion images uploaded to the web each day and more than 95 million images added to channels like Instagram daily, earned media is becoming increasingly visual. Cision will be the first to provide comms professionals with a way to harness the true business impact of the visual content market."


MBrain and Retriever square up

Norwegian arms of the Scandinavian MMOs are disputing whether royalties were under reported by MBrain. A May Oslo court ruling denied MBrain's attempt to set aside the case. 


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.