Government review of Code of Conduct for collecting societies

The Department of Communications and the Arts has invited submissions on the Code of Conduct for Copyright Collecting Societies review. Submissions are due by 29 September 2017.

Click here for the terms of reference, Discussion Paper and how to make a submission.

About the Code

Copyright Agency, Viscopy and all other Australian copyright collecting societies (also known as copyright management organisations, or CMOs) are signatories to the Code.

The objectives of the Code are to:

  • promote awareness of and access to information about copyright and the role and function of collecting societies in administering copyright on behalf of members;
  • promote confidence in collecting societies and the effective administration of copyright in Australia;
  • set out the standards of service that members and licensees can expect from collecting societies; and
  • ensure that members and licensees have access to efficient, fair and low cost procedures for the handling of complaints and the resolution of disputes involving collecting societies.

Matters covered in the Code include governance and accountability, education and awareness, and complaints and disputes.

The societies’ compliance with the Code is reviewed annually by the Code Reviewer. The current Code Reviewer is the Hon Kevin Lindgren AM QC, a former judge of the Federal Court.

Each society provides a detailed report to the Code Reviewer, including any complaints it has received and how it managed them. The Code Reviewer also invites submissions from members, licensees and other on the societies’ compliance with the Code.

You can view past reports by the Code Reviewer on compliance with the Code here.

The Code itself is also reviewed every three years. The Code Reviewer invites submissions, and holds a public hearing, on changes to the Code. The Code has been amended from time to time following these reviews. For example, the Code has recently been amended to set out information that Copyright Agency will include in its annual report regarding distribution of licence fees and moneys held in trust.

You can view past reports by the Code Reviewer on triennial reviews of the Code here.

Background to the Code

The Code was adopted by the societies in 2002. In developing the Code, the societies consulted closely with the Attorney-General’s Department, and took into account codes used in other industries (such as banking and telecommunications), and Australian standards for complaints handling and dispute resolution.

4 September 2017

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