News Corp takes Isentia to court

22 November 2021

News Corp’s Australian News Channel has taken Isentia to court over the media monitoring firm’s use of Sky News Australia content without the proper licence.

Australian News Channel has provided an exclusive licence to Isentia rival Streem. The agreement means that Streem is the only media monitoring company in Australia and New Zealand that can provide customers with full content from Sky News Australia, including alerts, streaming, downloads, and transcripts.

However, according to reports in the Australian Financial Review (AFR), Isentia has been providing content from Sky News Australia, which is run by Australian News Channel, to government clients without the appropriate licence under section 183(1) of the Copyright Act which allows for the use of copyright material for the services of the Crown.

In Federal Court documents, Australian News Channel rejects iSentia’s use of section 182(1) and wants the court to declare that Isentia’s use of Sky News content to government clients “does not constitute acts done ‘for the services of the Commonwealth or State’ within the meaning of section 183(1) of the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth)”, according to the AFR.

Australian News Channel argues that Isentia’s proposed continued use of Sky News content without the proper licence would cause “substantial commercial detriment” as it would jeopardise the exclusive rights provided to Streem.

“Australian News Channel Pty Ltd has filed an application in the Federal Court in respect of an apprehended infringement by iSentia Pty Limited of Australian News Channel’s copyright in Sky News content,” an Australian News Channel spokesperson says.

“Australian News Channel is seeking a declaration that acts done by iSentia Pty Limited in providing media monitoring services to government customers in respect of Sky News content do not fall within the scope of the "Crown use" statutory licence contained in the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth).”

Isentia CEO Ed Harrison says it is “disappointed” by Sky News Australia’s action against it.

“The use of section 183 by MMOs for the provision of copyrighted material to government entities is a well established practice that has been in place for many years,” Harrison says.

“We are disappointed that Sky are seeking to limit government access to content but we welcome the opportunity for the court to provide us all with clarity on this matter."

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