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Copyright update

At the beginning of the containment, a webinar was held jointly organized by FIBEP, AMEC and PDLN on exclusive deals. What are exclusive deals? What are the consequences of such deal in the market?

An article by Christophe Dickès


At the beginning of the containment, a webinar was held jointly organized by FIBEP, AMEC and PDLN on exclusive deals.

What are exclusive deals? In a given country, a monitoring service provider or aggregator obtains exclusivity to use the media of a publisher. Therefore, three scenarios are possible:

- or the service provider itself makes the media content available at fair conditions, both in terms of price and access to the media.

- or it refuses this access and takes advantage of its exclusivity without benefiting the market;

- or it gives access but under specific conditions, most often non-negotiable.

In the latter two cases, it creates an unfair competition and sometimes constitutes an abuse of a dominant position.

At the same time, there is a real loss for our customers, since most of the time they flee complexity and refuse to take out an additional subscription. In fact, by working with media monitoring companies, the customer is looking for a one-stop shop and does not want to multiply the number of contacts and contracts! The same applies to copyright: the simpler a system is to manage, the more likely it is to be accepted.

Exclusivities have been signed in Canada and the Netherlands. This situation has reduced access to information, which is a fundamental and essential freedom in our democracies. I always quote Judge Alvin Hellerstein who, in the case of TV eyes vs Fox News, clearly stated that media monitoring is a worthwhile service, essential for democracies and freedoms, because it is impossible for an institution to monitor all information by itself.

However, by signing exclusive deals, the exhaustiveness of our media coverage is undermined. The publisher also takes the risk of no longer being present in the monitoring services. In other words, to no longer have any feedback from the decision-makers who use our services to make strategic communication decisions. Provider, customer and even publisher therefore lose in this game of exclusivity. It is indeed a question of ethics not to compete with each other on media reception. Our added value is to find the information, to understand it, to bring intelligence and our analytical skills to it. To do so, our raw material for all of us remains media content and, without access to this media, we jeopardize our activities.

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