Close to $1m in copyright royalties available for WA Surveyors

April 1, 2019

The Copyright Agency has signed a deed with the Western Australian Government for almost $1m in royalties for local surveyors’ plans.

As a result, the agency is rapidly recruiting Western Australian surveyors, as only members of the agency can receive royalty payments for the sale of their survey plans.

The 2008 High Court of Australia decision found that surveyors own the copyright in their survey plans. The Copyright Agency has since been in negotiations with each state and territory government to ensure surveyors nationwide all receive appropriate remuneration for their work. The Western Australian Deed is the fifth of its kind, after New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and Victoria.

The Copyright Agency has distributed over $5.7m in royalties to more than 600 surveyor members since the first agreement with the NSW Government was signed in 2013.

Surveyors’ intellectual property is valuable – a percentage of the sale price is payable for the copying and communication of each survey plan – so it is important for surveying companies to keep track of their plans, especially during mergers.

Copyright Agency member, Wayne Diver-Tuck says his employer JBW Surveyors in Sydney has been a member of Copyright Agency for many years as they believe strongly in getting some form of compensation for copies of their plans which are sold.

All surveying businesses and sole practitioners in Western Australia should consider joining the Copyright Agency to receive royalty payments. If you are not a member, we cannot pay you. Membership is free, does not involve any assignment of your rights, and can be easily achieved by joining online here.

If you have any questions about membership, you can contact our Member Services team at

Money available for NSW Surveyors

The Copyright Agency is also trying to find about 80 NSW Surveyors whose survey plans have been identified and are entitled to a royalty payment, but have not yet joined the agency. A list of these NSW surveyors is here.

For general enquiries about the surveyors’ licence scheme, contact Jennifer Grim, Senior Manager Government Licensing at

Find out more about the Copyright Agency at You can also read our surveyor member profiles for Mark Andrew and Wayne Diver-Tuck.

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