$124m paid to publishers, writers and artists

September 5, 2018

Dear members,

I wrote in Creative Licence in July about changes to the Copyright Agency’s Future Fund, where the Board has decided it is prudent to reduce the amount in the Fund from $15m to $12m over the next three years.

You can read my July message here.

Further to that, our end of financial year results are now in and the good news for members is that we delivered slightly higher revenue than forecast.

Overall, we paid out $124m in copyright royalties to publishers, writers and visual artists in 2017-18. These royalties make a contribution to sustaining Australian storytelling.

Our licences allow millions of Australian school, college and university teachers and students, government and business employees and media monitoring companies to use an absolutely vast amount of copyright material in the course of their daily lives.

The licences we offer are cost-effective and are ‘blanket’ licences which include all digital and printed material available. For instance, teachers and lecturers can copy and share material from online sources or from textbooks and they do not need to check whether they are compliant because the licence covers their use. Similarly, licensed businesses can copy and share reports, newspaper articles or journal content under their licence.

We do face challenges this coming year as we are renegotiating our major licence agreements with schools and universities, and we are in a legal dispute with the NSW Government over the fees they pay for the use of our members work.

We are also in dispute with media monitoring companies such as Isentia and Meltwater, over the rate they pay for the use of material produced by media publishers and journalists.

Our aim in each of these areas is to ensure that we come to a resolution that ensures a fair rate for the use of our members’ copyright material. Where we must, we will stand up for our members’ rights in court.

Our annual report, including our full audited financial results, will be available to members around the time of our Annual General Meeting in November.

All the best,