Isentia Announced Copyright Tribunal Of Australia Interim Licence Orders

Isentia Group Limited (ASX: ISD) is a leader in integrated media intelligence with operations in 11 markets. The group is in the media content marketing strategies and digital content that helps brands to effectively communicate with their targeted audience. The company has highly advanced technology and a team of world-class experts.

The company today, on 24th April 2019, announced that the Copyright Tribunal of Australia on 23rd April 2019, made orders in relation to the interim arrangements to apply pending the outcome of its subsidiary, Isentia Pty Limited’s substantive application to the Copyright Tribunal regarding the terms of its Copyright Agency Ltd (CAL) licence.

The orders give effect to the Reasons for Determination received from the Copyright Tribunal on 18th March 2019 and 16 November 2018 and provide for Isentia Pty Limited to be granted an interim licence by CAL.

As communicated at the time of the company’s H1 FY19 results, the interim licence terms include a variable volume-based fee applicable to some component of the copyright fee. The copyright agreement of the company with CAL contained a minimum overall fixed fee previously.

The interim licence has a term from 1 December 2018 until the earlier of (A) the final determination of the Copyright Tribunal on the application, (B) any agreement between the parties as to the subject matter of the application, and (C) the termination of the Agency Agreement between CopyCo Pty Ltd and CAL. The Tribunal's final determination of the licence fee will be retroactive to 1st December 2018.

The Managing Director and CEO of the company, Ed Harrison, said that the interim licence is an important first step for the company. The shift to a more variable copyright cost is a positive outcome for the company as it gives greater control over the second largest cost line of the company. The company is pleased with this result; however, its action in the Copyright Tribunal is in progress as it seeks a final determination and parity in copyright pricing across the Australian media intelligence industry.

There will be a modest reduction in the copyright costs in FY19 from the orders, which is in line with the statements made at the time of Isentia’s H1 FY19 results. The guidance for FY19 underlying EBITDA of low to mid $20 million is unchanged.

Isentia Pty Limited made an application to the Copyright Tribunal in June 2018, where it has claimed that the licence proposed by CAL to apply from 1 July 2018 is subject to licence fees and other terms that are unreasonable. Two other media monitoring organisations have also made similar applications to the Copyright Tribunal.

All three proceedings will be heard by the Copyright Tribunal together, and it is anticipated that the hearing will occur in 2020, although a hearing date has not been finalised yet.

Isentia remains committed to the adoption of an industry-wide copyright scheme to ensure a level playing field with the competitors.

On the price-performance front, the stock of Isentia Group Limited was trading at $0.220, up by 12.821% during the day’s trade (At market close on 24 April 2019). The stock has generated a negative YTD return of 27.78% and returns of 30.36%, 29.09% and 9.30% over the past six months, three months and one-month period, respectively. Its 52-week high price stands at $0.885, and 52-week low price stands at $0.185, with an average trading volume of 793,565.


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