SAMMA and DALRO Sign Copyright Agreement

November 2013 – Johannesburg, South Africa. The South African Media Monitoring and Measurement Association (SAMMA) and the Dramatic, Artistic and Literary Rights Organisation (DALRO) have signed an agreement that licenses all SAMMA members for copyright compliance while assigning royalties to copyright-owners whose work is distributed by the media monitoring and measurement industry. Since signed, the consensus pars South Africa with international copyright compliance standards.

SAMMA is a public, non-profit organisation whose mandate is to safeguard media monitoring and measurement service providers. Current members of SAMMA include Market IQ, Ornico, Media Tenor, Newsclip and News Monitor to name a few, and membership is open to organisations and individuals involved in the business of press clipping, reputation analysis and media measurement in South Africa.

DALRO administers copyright on behalf of copyright-owners such as authors and publishers. In its work, it collects and distributes royalties for reprographic reproduction rights, performance rights and reproduction rights in works of visual art. DALRO represents key publishers in the newspaper, magazine, book and journal areas. These include BDFM, Creamer Media, Independent Newspapers, Mail & Guardian, Media 24 and Times Media Group.

Initially, the media monitoring industry paid royalties to various media owners and publishers directly. Administrative issues and a lack of structure for managing the entire process across the myriad authors and publishers led to the gradual decay of this system. Compensation for copyright owners suffered.

Recently, DALRO launched a Media Monitoring Licence. “The licence aims to provide a solution for the media monitoring and measurement industry to comply with copyright obligations for the copies it makes of copyright-protected works in the course of its operations,” says Advocate Nathi Gaisa, DALRO’s Managing Director. “DALRO filled a gap in a sector where copyright issues were a critical subject matter.”

The introduction of this licence brought about discussions between SAMMA and DALRO in 2012, focusing on a simplified solution for the users of copy-protected material that ensures the correct copyright owners are compensated for use.

The signed agreement is a milestone on copyright compliance in South Africa, taking into account the provisions of the Copyright Act and ensuring that the country is on par with other countries that have been licensing in this area for at least a decade. DALRO will be the administrator and issuer of licenses to SAMMA-member organisations. Members will pay an agreed upon amount which DALRO will then distribute to the respective publishers.

“An amount is charged per clipping for press clipping companies and small scale businesses will pay a smaller fee. This helps ensure that small businesses in this sector stay compliant without being financially burdened. That way they can continue to grow.” says Oresti Patricios, SAMMA chairman. DALRO currently continues to administer a fee of 8% of press-clipping revenue for media monitors that are not members of SAMMA.

For organisations served by media monitoring companies, their obligations on this matter are ethical. The onus is on them to check if their suppliers are copyright compliant and to ensure that they themselves are operating within the Copyright act.

Both DALRO and SAMMA are pleased to have reached this agreement and both organisations look forward to a fruitful relationship. SAMMA’s objective continues to be the encouragement of skills development, enhancing knowledge, fostering entrepreneurship and representing the interests of media monitoring, press clipping, reputation analysis and measurement companies and associated individuals in South Africa.

The South Africa Media Monitoring and Measurement Association, (SAMMA) is a public, non-profit industry coalition for the media monitoring and measurement sector in South Africa. The association was formed in 2011, with the mandate to represent the interests of the industry, develop the appropriate skills, enhance knowledge, and foster entrepreneurship. It is a membership organisation with its headquarters in Johannesburg, and is open to media monitoring, press clipping, reputation analysis and measurement companies, and associated individuals in South Africa.

DALRO was established in 1967 and administers copyright on behalf of authors, publishers, playwrights and visual artists. It collects and distributes royalty payments for use of copyright-protected works in the areas of reprographic reproduction rights, performance rights, and reproduction rights in works of visual art. DALRO represents key publishers in the newspaper, magazine, book and journal areas. These include Pearson Education, Juta & Co, Oxford University Press, Media24, Cambridge University Press, Macmillan South Africa, BDFM, Creamer Media, Independent Newspapers, Mail & Guardian, Times Media and Lexis Nexis.

For more information, or to assess the relevance of this agreement to your organisation, check our Copyright Q & A