30 January 2013

South Africa: New Copyright Licenses From DALRO

press release

The Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) a copyright asset management agency that administers various aspects of copyright on behalf of authors, artists and publishers, has released a media monitoring organisation licence and a business licence which enables organisations to meet their copyright obligations in a format that is both easy to use and administer.

It introduced this to communications and PR professionals at a round table breakfast held late last week at the Protea Fire and Ice Hotel Melrose Arch. Steve Matthewson, managing editor: news at Business Day and BDlive and Sarah-Jane Bosch, business development manager at DALRO, addressed copyright infringement and the new licences.

The issue under discussion was potential areas for copyright infringement that occur when communications professionals copy and distribute content from newspapers, magazines and the internet. The licences make copying of content legal and fair and bring the local communications industry in line with international standards of copyright compliance.

Attendees at the breakfast had an opportunity to understand and question both how they might be infringing copyright, and how the new licences work.

Duty on the practitioner

Bosch pointed out that the duty on the practitioner is not only legal, but also moral. "Yes, there is a legal obligation, but the compensation of copyright owners for work that others find beneficial enough to copy and distribute ensures that the value of copyright, and the works it protects, is maintained and appreciated. It is the correct move to make as a good corporate citizen. That is what the DALRO licence solution aims to achieve."

Matthewson focussed on the importance of quality content. "But here's the thing, and this is why I have dwelled on advertising for a while ... the idea that we create content, package it, aggregate an audience at a relatively low return and then charge other parties to access those eyeballs, and rely on that as our primary source of income, that idea is now challenged. So we haven't reached the end of advertising but we've reached the end of advertising as we know it. The end of the advertising-driven business model. For BDFM and it won't be the same for every media company, but for us, content will eventually pay all our bills."

Heinrich Nel of Media Monitor Pear, whose organisation is compliant, commented on how easy the process is. "It's the right thing to do," he added.

The professionals attending the breakfast asked questions that clarified a variety of issues such as 16 countries internationally follow a similar system and that the licences are effective immediately. DALRO will undertake more events of this nature in the coming months.

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