Copyright Agency saddened about Caroline Morgan’s passing

July 10, 2023

Vale Caroline Morgan

Copyright Agency is saddened to learn that Caroline Morgan passed away on 8 July.

Caroline worked in senior positions at Copyright Agency from 1989 until 2016, when she headed to Brussels to become CEO of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations.

Caroline was a key contributor to the growth of Copyright Agency from an organisation of six people distributing about $1m, to an organisation distributing more than $100m a year for writers, artists and publishers. She had a number of senior roles, including Corporate Counsel, Head of Corporate Services, and Head of Business Services, as well as Company Secretary. Caroline was also President of the Copyright Society of Australia for many years.

Among many other things, she was closely involved in landmark cases that established principles and rates that ensured the ongoing payment of copyright royalties to creators. These cases included the 1994 litigation against the Victoria University of Technology, the 1996 case Nationwide News Pty Limited v Copyright Agency Limited, the 1999 Copyright Tribunal decision on rates payable by universities, the 2002 Copyright Tribunal decision on rates payable by schools, and the 2008 High Court decision on copyright in survey plans. She was instrumental in the establishment of licensing for governments, media monitoring companies, and the commercial sector, and the successful tender to run the artists’ resale royalty scheme.

Caroline was passionate about the arts and was driven to achieve fair compensation for the use of creative material. She was determined, clever, loyal, and funny.

Here are some reflections from colleagues who worked closely with Caroline throughout her career at Copyright Agency, and formed enduring friendships:

Michael Fraser (Copyright Agency founding CEO):

Caroline Morgan made a difference for the good in the world and I am grateful to her. She was a wonderful colleague and a kind and generous person. She was important to the success of the Copyright Agency, the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations, and the Copyright Society. The community in Australia and internationally are the better for her outstanding service. I send my condolences to Caroline’s family, whom she loved so dearly.

Peter Banki (Partner, Banki Haddock Fiora):

When Caroline began working in copyright as a young lawyer she knew next to nothing about the field. By the time she left CA she was an internationally recognised expert and much more than a copyright lawyer. Caroline was dedicated to the rightsholder cause. Unlike many advocates, her passion was not blinkered. Her thinking was strategic and often ground-breaking. When I was a member of the CA board there were many times when Caroline’s counsel ensured that cooler heads prevailed. She could be formidable but was also a lot of fun. There are many reasons to be grateful for Caroline’s long and distinguished career. I will miss her greatly, as will her many friends and colleagues in the wider copyright world.

Jim Alexander (former Copyright Agency CEO):

I met Caroline as the fourth employee of Copyright Agency almost 40 years ago. She was wide-eyed and irrepressible – smart, with energy for three. We have worked together one way or another since then. I have relied on Caroline’s quick thinking and ever-expanding knowledge of copyright law and collective management issues. I already miss her advice and quick wittedness, encyclopaedic knowledge of trivia and her steadfastness. A rock has been moved to another place.

Kate Haddock (Partner, Banki Haddock Fiora):

Caroline had an enthusiasm for the rights of creators that never waned. She had an unerring sense of what would and wouldn’t work in litigation and a phenomenal ability to make appropriate concessions in negotiations and policy debates, all in the interests of copyright owners. As a client she was utterly focused on the interests of Copyright Agency members, and as a friend she was generous, kind, and hilariously good fun. She adored her family, who were at the centre of her world. I cannot imagine a world where she won’t be at the other end of the phone.