“In the end, we managed to reach the best possible deal”; Theofilos Argyriadis, CEO of Clip News, talks about the new copyright environment in Greece
Interview with Christophe Dickès, EMEA Communication Leader & Global Copyright Director, Kantar Media
There was no copyright environment in Greece for the MM industry; could you please tell us when you started to work with the right organization OSDEL?
Theofilos: In Greece, there was an intellectual property law but with no clear framework regarding media monitoring companies. OSDEL, the Greek Collecting Society for Literary Works, is a non-profit organization, duly authorised and supervised by the Greek Organization of Copyright.
At the end of 2015, OSDEL approachedthe media monitoring companies operating in Greece to start a discussion with them on copyright forthe print media (newspapers and magazines) it represented.
How did the negotiations happen? How long did they last? Did you decide to negotiate on your own or to create a group with your competitors?
Theofilos: The negotiations with OSDEL were a joint effort. The largest media monitoring companies in Greece decided to team up with a single legal representative to negotiate a common approach. The negotiations started in December 2015 and we reached a common agreement on a license on the 1st of May 2017.
What was the most difficult thing you faced during these negotiations?
Theofilos: The biggest difficulty we faced was getting OSDEL to understand the nature of our industry. Unfortunately, they had an inaccurate conception of the size of the print media monitoring market in Greece, which caused excessive expectations and wrong approaches.
Hopefully, we, as the group of companies representing our market, managed to convince the representatives of OSDEL about the true size of the market as well as the nature of the services provided and this way we reached a common agreement.
To this, I would like to emphasize that since the very beginning the primary objective of both sides was to reach a common agreement: we, as media monitors on the one side, understood the need to solve once and for all the pending issue of copyright in Greece, and OSDEL, on the other side, had to have a real solution.
What is the percentage of the publishers represented by OSDEL?
Theofilos: They started with the quite small figure of 20% but very soon that number increased to +50% once it became clear that a license was in place with the media monitoring companies. That was a necessary precondition set from our side in order to reach the final agreement.
Do you think that the copyright fee asked by OSDEL is fair? Does the market accept easily these new rules? Does OSDEL play a pedagogical role?
The general feeling is that, in the end, we managed to reach the best possible deal.
There was, of course, a reaction from the market, which was not familiar with copyright costs at all, but luckily, it was not that bad. Ofcourse, the licensing undertaking is still ongoing and we are not yet in a position to talk about a successful outcome, but I believe that slowly our subscribers come to understand the need of a copyright law.
Just a few subscribers did not agree to pay the extra cost. But I believe this is more than expected and would happen in any country with a new copyright license.
After all, we expected such a development and included a respective clause in the deal. Even though OSDEL was not familiar with our industry, it had a significant role in the entire effort.
(To note that this interview reflects Theofilos’ own thoughts and his answers to do not represent the entire group of companies that was part of the negotiation process).
About Theofilos Argyriadis, CEO, Clip News
Theofilos Argyriadis is the CEO of Clip News, a Media Monitoring company in Greece since 1992. In 2011 he was elected Vice-President of FIBEP for a five-year term. During his term, he led the effort for the establishment of a worldwide standard for the creation of a “common technological language” for all media monitoring agencies. To date, he is a member of the FIBEP Admissions Commission. Since 2014, he is the founding member and shareholder of Social Mind, a Social Media Content & Development company.
About Clip News
Clip News SA has been offering media monitoring services since 1992 and it is the oldest media monitoring company in Greece. The company has offices in Athens and Thessaloniki, offering monitoring services from print media, internet, social media, TV and radio.