Rights Knowledge Exchange – the background on why it is important

This set of country profiles is intended to assist members of AMEC, FIBEP and PDLN in understanding the licensing regimes in major countries. The intention is that we extend the range of countries and improve the presentation and depth of the profiles over time.

Publisher organisations rarely offer comprehensive licensing solutions and very few countries have a simple clear route to compliance by a media monitoring organisation (MMO). The traditional copyright clearance organisations – Reproductive Rights Organisations (RROs) – are usually focused on books and journals and the academic market. Where they have newspaper and magazine rights these rights are often limited to licensing paper copying by end users. Many newspaper publishers lack confidence in the RRO approach and demand more transparency on who is copying what. But some RROs are moving towards MMO friendly solutions (e.g. Spain, South Africa).

In a number of countries newspapers have established licensing and service bodies to address their interests in licensing MMO use. Many of these organisations are represented in PDLN, but there may be RROs, sometimes with overlapping rights, in the same country. In Germany for example VG Wort have a statutory role, but work alongside PMG in presenting solutions to users and MMOs.
As digital use becomes more critical to their business some important financial titles reserve licensing to direct agreements. So in for example in UK, Netherlands, and Denmark respectively Financial Times, Het Financiale Dagblad and Borsen are licensed directly.

The situation is further complicated by legal disputes.Both Portugal and Italy have licensing solutions being challenged in the courts by local MMOs. And there are differing copyright regimes and interpretations around the world.

The landscape is complex and ever changing. We make no apologies for some of the difficulties summarising this for our audience, but we hope this guide helps save you time in getting a grip on the basics.