Copyright Agency asks Copyright Tribunal for 21st century data collection from schools

May 18, 2021

Today the Copyright Agency made an application to the Copyright Tribunal of Australia, asking for assistance with designing new methodologies for collecting data from schools in relation to their copying and sharing of content under the education statutory licence which the Copyright Agency administers under a declaration made by the Federal Government.

In 2019, Copyright Agency and representatives of the school sector agreed to work together on new data collection mechanisms harnessing modern technologies. That agreement includes an option that if both parties were unable to reach agreement by September 2020 then either party could ask the Tribunal to assist with new arrangements.

Copyright Agency seeks a method to collect sufficient data to enable fair payments to be made to Australian publishers, authors and artists whose content is extensively copied and shared in Australian schools, while causing minimal administrative impact on teachers.  

“Educational material created by our members is fundamental to teaching Australian school students. It includes materials such as textbooks, activity sheets, lesson plans, poems, short stories, novels and artistic works bringing the Australian curriculum to life,” Copyright Agency CEO, Adam Suckling said.

“Copyright payments are one of most effective ways to ensure students have access to high quality Australian educational content. Without fair payment for their work, it may not be viable for many Australian publishers, authors and artists to produce content that reflects Australian stories, life and perspectives.”

“Payments made to publishers, authors and visual artists from the education statutory licence are a crucial part of the creative sector which as a whole contributes over $111 billion to the Australian economy each year – that’s approximately 6.4% of the overall economy. We need to look to ways to nurture this sector and sustaining investment including distributing of licence fees that accurately reflect usage.” Mr Suckling said.

The Copyright Agency believes that advances in digital technology mean that it is possible to efficiently collect accurate data about what material teachers are using under the licence, while reducing the administrative time spent by teachers on collecting data.

Media Enquiries

Kate Pasterfield
Director – Corporate Affairs, Copyright Agency
m: 0437 965 071

About the Copyright Agency

The not-for-profit Copyright Agency connects users and creators of content, providing licences for the use of copyright material such as text, images, art and survey plans. We manage the educational and government licences for the use of text and images, as well as the resale royalty scheme for artists (by Government appointment). Our members include writers, artists, surveyors and publishers. Membership is free.

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