NSW Government non-payment: an update from our CEO

June 22, 2018

Dear members,

I wanted to update you on our copyright dispute with the NSW Government over non-payment of licence fees for over five years.

We participated in mediation on Wednesday (20 June) but were regrettably unable to reach agreement. This means that the dispute will now be heard by the Copyright Tribunal.

As I have said to members before, NSW public servants copy and communicate an enormous amount of material covered by copyright and we believe that it should pay a fair rate for the use of this material.

You can find more background on this issue here.

I would like to thank the authors Tara Moss, Anna Funder and Malcolm Knox for providing quotes to The Daily Telegraph. Here’s what they had to say:

Tara Moss: The Government of NSW,  the state I call home, is the only government in Australia refusing to pay this fair and established rate, thereby refusing to recognise the value in tens of millions of pages of author, researcher, photographer, cartoonist, journalist and publisher content. Read full quote.

Anna Funder: It’s important that governments behave fairly. It’s important that people who research and write – scientists, social policy makers, fiction writers and others —are paid appropriately for their work. If it’s useful enough to use, it’s valuable enough to pay for. Read full quote.

Malcolm Knox: We all pay for state government services. When the positions are reversed, however, the New South Wales government is trying to pay less than any other state for writers’ services – in this case, copyright material. Read full quote.

I would also like to thank Jimmy Barnes for his support. Further, I would like to thank all those members who got onto social media to support Australian writers, publishers and visual artists.

The two relevant stories from this week’s Telegraph are here.

Finally, while our preference is to come to a commercial resolution, we will not dodge this fight in your interests. We will take this forward legally with maximum vigour.

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