Updates from the December Copyright Agency Board meeting
On 1 December 2017, the Copyright Agency Board agreed to several beneficial changes to member policies.
These changes will:
- assist early resolution of competing claims by different members to an allocated amount and enable funds held in suspense to be paid;
- change our member terms for new members to make clear that our licensees can, where appropriate, make fine art works public for the first time;
- reduce fluctuations in the percentage deduction the Copyright Agency takes from licence fees to run the agency each year; and
- accommodate the merging of the Copyright Agency and Viscopy – a merger that was approved by the members, where the votes were overwhelmingly in favour.
To learn more about each updated policy, follow the links below.
CHANGES TO THE COMPETING CLAIMS POLICY
To avoid payments being held up unnecessarily by disputes between members, the Board has approved a new discretion to ‘roll over’ disputed allocations after four years.
This change is aimed to increase the incentive for resolution between the disputing parties within a reasonable time frame.
Where a dispute remains unresolved, and the decision is made to ‘roll over’ the allocation, the disputed money will be released and used to offset the deductions from licence fees for operating costs.
This new policy applies to all disputes that arise from 1 December 2017.
NEW MEMBERSHIP TERMS
All new members who join the Copyright Agency after 1 December 2017 will be asked to grant Copyright Agency the right to ‘publish’ as well as to ‘reproduce’ and ‘communicate’ their works.
In this instance, ‘publish’ means making an unpublished work public for the first time. It means that the Copyright Agency’s licences can allow licensees, where appropriate, to make fine art works public for the first time.
The updated terms and conditions are available on the Copyright Agency website.
CHANGE TO DEDUCTION FROM LICENCE FEES CALCULATIONS
From 1 December 2017, the way in which deductions from licence fees are calculated will change. This will reduce fluctuations in the deductions from year to year.
The new method is based on the actual operating costs for the previous two years, together with the projected operating costs in the following year’s budget.
UPDATED DISTRIBUTION POLICY document
We have updated the distribution policy document on our website. Changes include:
- the current deduction from fine art licence fees;
- the new approach to calculating the deduction for operating costs (explained above);
- the circumstances in which we are accepting new information about contractual sharing arrangements for books (known as ‘notified payment shares’); and
- clarification that creators have first option to receive payments for sharing with others, but may elect for the payments to be made to their publisher.
The Board has approved applications from 92 new members: 78 individuals and 14 organisations.
PAYMENTS TO MEMBERS
All payments to members for 2017 are now complete. You can see the distribution schedule for 2018 here.
CODE OF CONDUCT
Members are also encouraged to review the 2016 -17 report by the Code Reviewer on collecting societies’ compliance here.