Copyright Agency Annual Report 2016

Download Annual Report as PDF here, and financial statements here.

1.       Highlights

In 2015–16 Copyright Agency:

  • enabled copying and sharing of content by millions of Australians without the individual copyright clearances otherwise required, including:
  • more than 3.75 million school students in more than 9,400 schools,[1]
  • nearly 300,000 teaching staff,
  • one million university students,
  • 100,000 university staff,[2]
  • 2 million vocational education and training students,[3] and
  • nearly 824,000 government employees[4]
  • paid $115.5m to more than 9,600 content creators
  • paid nearly $621,000 in artists’ resale royalties to 353 artists
  • allocated $06m from its Cultural Fund (members’ contribution of 1.5% of licence revenue) to support 66 projects, 43 professional development grants and 8 fellowships
  • licensed 146 new commercial clients and extended 60 licences to cover additional content and uses, resulting in a 11% increase in licence fees from the corporate sector
  • licensed 75 new independently licensed education institutions
  • increased licence fees from Viscopy direct licences for use of artworks by 7%
  • processed nearly 79,000 survey records of copying in schools (comprising nearly 364,000 pages) and more than 10,000 survey records of copying in universities (comprising more than 350,000 pages)
  • launched a new platform for LearningField (subscription to textbook chapters from multiple publishers) and increased participating publishers from 9 to 13
  • launched a new platform for Reading Australia, increased subscribers by 70% to 6,246, and added 31 new children’s book titles, 77 new teacher resources for secondary students, 78 new essays for secondary schools, 39 new resources for primary schools, 2 new videos and 5 new essays for tertiary teaching
  • submitted a joint proposal to government, with education representatives and Screenrights, for simplification of the statutory licence for education (reflected in draft amendments released by the government)

2.      Copyright Agency at a glance

What we do: On behalf of creators of text and images, we negotiate, collect and distribute copyright fees and royalties. We are known as a ‘copyright management organisation’ or ‘collecting society’

Structure: We are a not-for-profit company limited by guarantee.

Members: We have more than 30,000 members, who include writers, artists and publishers.

Government appointments: We are appointed by the Australian Government to manage statutory licence schemes and the artists’ resale royalty scheme.

Statutory licence schemes: The statutory licence schemes allow educational and government use of content without the permissions usually required, but subject to fair compensation to content creators.[5]

Artists’ resale royalty scheme: The artists’ resale royalty scheme pays artists a percentage of the sale price from certain resales of artworks.

Agent for members: We also license our members’ works as their agent (e.g. for use in corporations, local governments and not-for-profit organisations).

Payments to content creators : We pay more than $100 million a year to content creators for the use of their works.

Cultural Fund: 1.5% of licence revenue[6] supports cultural projects through the Cultural Fund.

Viscopy services: Copyright Agency manages member services and artwork licensing for Viscopy’s 11,000 local members and international affiliates.

International affiliations: Copyright Agency and Viscopy are affiliated with more than 70 similar organisations in other countries.  This enables use of Australian works in other countries, and use of foreign works in Australia.

Other Australian copyright management organisations : We coordinate with other Australian copyright management organisations that manage licensing for other types of content.[7]

Copyright Tribunal: The Copyright Tribunal can determine licensing and distribution arrangements that are not resolved by agreement (but determinations are rare).[8]

Code of Conduct: Copyright Agency and Viscopy are signatories to the Code of Conduct for Australian Collecting Societies (copyright management organisations).

3.      About copyright

The objective of copyright law is ‘to give to the author of a creative work his just reward for the benefit he has bestowed on the community and also to encourage the making of further creative works’.[9]

Copyright rights are granted by the Copyright Act.[10]  Copyright applies to designated ‘forms of expression’ such as writing, music and images. The ‘owner’ of a copyright has exclusive rights to do certain things such as copying, making available online, broadcasting and public performance. No registration is required for copyright: rights are granted ‘automatically’ on creation of a designated form of expression.

Copyright is a form of ‘intellectual property’: it is ‘owned’ and can be licensed and transferred to others.[11]  The Copyright Act determines the first owner of copyright (usually the creator). Creators also have ‘moral rights’ in their work (relating to attribution and the ‘integrity’ of their work), even if they do not own copyright.[12]

The artists’ resale royalty right (artists’ entitlement to a share of the resale price for artworks) is often regarded as a copyright-related right, though it differs from copyright rights in a number of respects, and in Australia is granted by stand-alone legislation.[13]

Rights usually last for 70 years after the creator’s death.[14]

The Copyright Act contains a range of ‘exceptions’: activities that can be done without the copyright permissions usually required. The Act also contains a number of ‘statutory licences’ that allow copying and sharing of content (e.g. for education) without permission, but subject to fair compensation.

The copyright system is international, involving national legislation that conforms with standards in international treaties.[15]

3.1       About statutory licences

The Copyright Act contains a number of ‘statutory licences’, which allow uses of content for certain purposes without permission but subject to fair compensation to content creators.[16]

Statutory licences have been introduced for situations in which it was assumed ‘that, if left to themselves, the parties will be unable to reach a satisfactory resolution of the terms for the access desired’ for reasons that include ‘unacceptably high transaction costs in cases where individual uses would be too difficult to identify and control’ and ‘the user is in a powerful initial position and has been able to obtain a statutory solution in its favour’.[17]

Statutory licences are compulsory for content creators but not for licensees: users can choose to make alternative arrangements with copyright owners for uses covered by statutory licences, rather than relying on the statutory licence provisions.[18] Content creators have adjusted to the statutory licences, which were introduced a long time ago and enable efficient licensing solutions.

Copyright Agency is appointed (‘declared’) by the Australian Government to manage statutory licences for the use of text, images and print music by the educational and government sectors.[19]

A statutory licence for education was introduced in 1980 following the recommendations of an expert committee,[20] revised in 1989, and extensively amended in 2000 to enable digital uses of content (such as making content available on an intranet).[21]  In 1990, the Attorney-General’s Department produced guidelines for ‘declared’ collecting societies, which are reflected in Copyright Agency’s Constitution.[22] The government intends to introduce legislation that would simplify the statutory licence for education, in accordance with a joint proposal from Copyright Agency, education representatives and Screenrights.

A statutory licence for people with a print disability was also introduced in 1980 and subsequently amended and extended; Copyright Agency’s board has decided, however, not to seek compensation under the statutory licences for people with disabilities. The Government intends to replace this statutory licence with an exception.

A statutory licence for governments was introduced in 1968 as part of the current Copyright Act, following the recommendation of an expert committee,[23] and was amended in 1998 to facilitate collective management.[24]

Statutory licences are consistent with Australia’s international treaty obligations, and exist in other countries, but are more prevalent in Australia than elsewhere.[25]

The Copyright Tribunal has power to determine a range of matters associated with statutory licensing, including the compensation payable, monitoring of usage, and distribution of compensation to content creators. References to the Tribunal are, however, rare: matters associated with the operation of statutory licences (including compensation and monitoring) are usually resolved through negotiation and agreement.

4.      Our business: an overview

Our main business can be summarised as follows:

  1. Authority to Copyright Agency to manage copyright licensing arrangements, from the Copyright Act (statutory licences for education and government) and from members (other licences, such as those for corporations)
  2. People covered by the licensing arrangements can copy and share text and images
  3. Licensees pay licence fees to Copyright Agency for distribution to content creators
  4. Some licensees also provide data about their usage
  5. Copyright Agency identifies rightsholders whose content has been used, or is available for use, by licensees
  6. Copyright Agency apportions the licence fees among those rightsholders
  7. Rightsholders may have contractual obligations to share payments with others: e.g. publishers may be obliged to share payments with authors.

Copyright Agency is also appointed by the Government to manage the artists’ resale royalty scheme. People who resell artworks pay 5% of the sale price to Copyright Agency for the artists, and provide data about the artworks and sales.

In addition to its licensing business, Copyright Agency has also partnered with publishers to develop LearningField, an online subscription platform enabling use of textbook chapters from multiple publishers. See further 20. LearningField.

Members have authorised 1.5% of licence fees to support cultural projects and creators’ professional development, which is managed through Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund. See further 13. Cultural Fund.

4.1       Licence fees received by sector[26]

$ Million 2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014-15 2015–16
Schools 56.3 58.6 59.8 60.8 61.8 62.7
Universities 25.5 26.3 27.0 29.0 30.7 30.7
TAFEs 3.8 4.0 3.9 3.6 3.3 3.3
Other education providers 4.0 4.5 4.8 5.0 5.3 6.3
Education total 89.6 93.4 95.5 98.4 101.1 103.0
States & territories 7.0 6.3 6.2 4.7 2.0[27] 3.9
Commonwealth 3.0 3.1  2.8 2.8 2.5 1.5
Survey plans 0.2 3.8 2.7
Gov  total[28] 10.0 9.4 9.0 7.7 8.3 8.1
Press clipping 12.5 12.7 12.7 12.0 12.5 12.1
Other commercial 3.4  3.9  4.5 4.9 5.7 5.9
Overseas 1.8 2.3 2.6 2.7 4.1 4.1
Resale royalty 0.2 0.4 0.8 0.6 0.9 0.8
LearningField 0.6 2.5 3.1
Net investment income 5.3 4.0 2.7 2.3 2.1 1.9
Other total 23.2 23.3 23.3 23.1 27.8 27.9
TOTAL 122.8 126.1 127.8 129.2 137.2 139.0


4.2       Distributions at a glance

Each year’s distributions include some funds received before that year, depending on when the funds and data for allocation were received.

In 2015–16, Copyright Agency received a total of $139m, comprising:

  • $134.9m from domestic licensing; and
  • $4.1m collected overseas.

Copyright Agency distributed $115.5m, comprising:

  • $94m to domestic rightsholders; and
  • 6m to foreign rightsholders.

See further 12. Payments to content creators.

5.      Statutory licence schemes: education

The statutory licence scheme for education in the Copyright Act allows educational use of text and images provided there is fair compensation to content creators.[29] Copyright Agency was appointed by the Australian Attorney General in 1990 to manage the scheme.

There is a similar scheme for broadcast content (e.g. documentaries, films and current affairs), managed by Screenrights.[30]

The schemes now apply to both not-for-profit and for-profit educational institutions. The amount of fair compensation can be determined by the Copyright Tribunal if it cannot be agreed. The last Tribunal determination on fair compensation from schools for text, images and print music was in 2002, and for universities in 1999.

Most schools (all government schools, and most Catholic and independent schools) are represented by the Copyright Advisory Group (CAG)[31] in negotiations for fair compensation. Most Technical and Further Education (TAFE) colleges (apart from those in Victoria)[32] are also represented by CAG. Australian universities are represented by Universities Australia.[33] Copyright Agency also negotiates individual agreements with more than 1,000 independent educational institutions.

For total revenue from the education sector, see 4.1 Licence fees received by sector.

5.1       Developments in 2015–16

  • joint proposal to government, with education representatives and Screenrights, for simplification of the statutory licence for education (reflected in draft amendments released by the government)
  • launch of a joint licence with APRA | AMCOS and PPCA for early childhood centres, covering music, text and images, in partnership with Early Childhood Australia
  • commencement of negotiations with Universities Australia on next agreement

5.2       Total cost of education for school students

According to the Australian Curriculum and Assessment Authority, the recurrent government funding for school education in 2012–13 was $48 Billion.[34]

Compensation to content creators under the statutory licence is less than 0.13% of this funding.

5.3       Licence fees paid for school students

When adjusted for student numbers, volume of copying and consumer price index, licence fees have remained stable over the last 10 years.

Under the agreements for 2013–15 and 2016–17, the rate per student is fixed at the 2012 rate ($16.93), but (unlike in previous agreements) without an annual increase for the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

In real terms, the per-student rate for school students is lower now than in 2012.

5.4       Universities

The agreements with the university sector set a flat rate for the agreement period, but, unlike the agreements for the school sector, it has been a single lump sum for the sector as a whole rather than a per-student rate.

Of the $25.8 billion of expenditure in universities in 2014, the copyright fee of $30.7m was 0.12%.

5.5       Individually licensed institutions

As at 30 June 2016, we had 1,015 individual licences with education institutions, 75 of which are newly licensed institutions (59 commercial institutions, and 16 non-commercial institutions).

About 60% of the individually licensed institutions are not-for-profit, and the remainder for-profit. The institutions included pre-schools, schools and colleges offering higher education degrees, as well as Vocational Education and Training (VET) level diplomas and certificates 1–4. Some offer specialist education, such as theological studies, business studies and English language training.

The for-profit institutions are mostly very large private colleges and registered training organisations (RTOs) offering tertiary education. The not-for-profit institutions include training arms of government bodies, private or community kindergartens, community colleges, neighbourhood houses, smaller RTOs and charitable RTOs.

While we license these institutions individually, we liaise with peak bodies for various classes of institution with a view to:

  • increasing understanding of copyright and licensing issues;
  • providing licensing information to their members; and
  • designing licences that are appropriate to the needs of their members.

5.6       Usage records processed

The following shows the number of records from surveys that we processed in 2015–16. In most cases, these survey records comprise a cover sheet with information about the copying, and a copy of the content copied.

Each survey record may show that numerous ‘pages’ were copied, and may show that those ‘pages’ included a number of separate ‘works’. For example, a survey record may show that 10 pages from a book were copied, and that those pages included narrative text, a poem, and images. Survey records from tertiary institutions include course packs, which comprise extracts from a variety of sources.

Components of copied pages may be processed separately: there are different relative values for different types of content, and there may be different owners of copyright for various components.

The following is an indication of the volume of processing, rather than a comprehensive report on all processing in 2015–16. The processing includes research to determine whether or not a use was made in reliance on the statutory licence or not. The following includes records for uses made outside the statutory licence, and therefore excluded from estimates of the extent of reliance on the statutory licence, and from distribution.

  survey records processed ‘usage’ records ‘pages’ processed
schools: hardcopy 63,807 86,345 285,832
schools: digital 15,191 23,832 77,762
universities: hardcopy 1,550 3,680 4,0225
universities: digital 8,833 22,087 309,963
other (inc TAFE) 1,879 6,697 2,6615

5.7       Engagement with education sector

Our statutory licensing staff engage with the education sector in a variety of ways, including participation in education conferences and other events. For example, in 2015-16 staff participated in:

  • ACPET Conference (Melbourne): 26-28 August 2015
  • VELG: National VET Conference (Adelaide): 16-18 September 2015
  • English Australia Conference (Brisbane) 23-25 September 2015
  • NEAS conference (Sydney) 12-13 May
  • Vivacity (Newcastle): 19–20 May 2016
  • a range of professional development workshops and webinars on copyright as well as one-on-one college visits to provide copyright education to staff

6.      How content is used in the education sector

The statutory licence managed by Copyright Agency allows copying and sharing of text and images for educational purposes:

  • from any source (e.g. print, digital, legitimate or infringing); and
  • for any type of reproduction or communication (e.g. printing, scanning, photocopying, downloading, making available on a server, emailing).

The only limitation is that, for some works, only a ‘reasonable portion’ can be used if the work is available for purchase.

Each year, a small sample of schools and universities participate in surveys of usage conducted by an independent research company.[35] The design of each survey is agreed with CAG (for schools) and UA (for universities), and those organisations participate in training of survey participants. By agreement with education sector representatives, survey participants record some uses made outside the statutory licence.[36]

Uses made outside the statutory licence are identified and excluded when the usage data is processed by Copyright Agency, in accordance with protocols agreed with education sector representatives.

The extent and type of information gathered about usage is affected by:

  • the technology available to collect and process data;
  • administrative burden on licensees; and
  • cost of collecting and processing data.

6.1       Surveys of usage

Licensees participate in surveys of usage for two quite distinct reasons:

  1. to provide an indication of the overall levels of usage (‘volume’); and
  2. to provide information about content used, to assist with distribution of fair compensation and licence fees.

Some survey records are useful for the first purpose but not for the second (because they do not contain sufficient information to identify a rightsholder). In identifying survey records for distribution purposes, we exclude those that do not contain sufficient identifying information.[37]  Conversely, some information gathered in surveys is relevant to distribution, but does not affect compensation negotiations.

The design of surveys is agreed with licensee representatives. This includes the sample design and the survey duration.

6.2       2015 schools surveys

Every year, an independent research company conducts two surveys of copying in a sample of schools for Copyright Agency. One survey records printing, scanning and photocopying in 252 schools over a two-year period, each for a term:

  • NSW, ACT, South Australia and Northern Territory in the ‘even’ years (e.g. 2014, 2016)
  • Victoria, Tasmania, Queensland and Western Australia in the ‘odd’ years (e.g. 2013, 2015).

The other survey records ‘electronic use’ (e.g. uploading to a server, downloading, emailing) in 100 schools each year, for a four week period.

6.3       Number of schools and students in Australia in 2015

In 2015, there were 9,404 schools in Australia, with more than 3.75 million students: 65% in government schools, and 35% in non-government schools.[38]

6.4       Printing, scanning and photocopying by the surveyed schools

In 2015, surveys of printing, scanning, photocopying were conducted in the following number of schools:

Government Primary 32 20 8 60
Secondary 12 8 4 24
Total government schools 44 28 12 84
Non-government Primary 8 4 4 16
Secondary 4 12 8 24
Total non-government schools 12 16 12 40
GRAND TOTAL   56 44 24 124


In total, there were 76,190 students in those schools.

The following figures represent content copied and shared in reliance on the licence managed by Copyright Agency: that is, uses that would otherwise have required a copyright clearance. Any uses recorded in surveys that were not done in reliance on the licence are excluded.[39]

The 124 schools surveyed:

  • photocopied 3 million ‘pages’ of content[40]
  • printed 337,000 ‘pages’
  • scanned 13,000 ‘pages’

Taking into account the survey results for both 2014 and 2015,[41] the calculated ‘pages’ per student for 2015 is:

Activity ‘pages’
Photocopied 173.9
Printed or scanned 17.3
Total 191.2

6.5       Electronic use by the surveyed schools

In addition, surveys of electronic use were conducted in 100 schools, each for a four week period. There were 37,518 students in those schools.

The schools surveyed for electronic use copied or shared 539,000 ‘pages’ of content.

The calculated ‘pages’ per student for 2015 is:

Activity ‘pages’
‘Displayed’ (e.g. from a learning management system) 71.7
‘Published’ to students online (e.g. from a learning management system) 31.7
Printed, saved or copied by students 13.4
Downloaded, saved to computer, screenshot or digital photo 11.0
Emailed 5.6
Total 133.4


Both Copyright Agency and the schools sector recognise that the current system is not perfect, but it has to balance burden and cost with accuracy.  Copyright Agency and the schools sector regularly review current methods with a view to improvements and alternatives.

6.6       Uses excluded from compensation negotiations

Not all uses of content are taken into account in compensation negotiations. Uses excluded from consideration include those that:

  • do not ordinarily require copyright permission;[42]
  • the content creator has notified us are directly licensed for educational use;
  • are presumed to be directly licensed for educational use;[43]
  • are presumed to have no value (such as ‘technical’ copies); and
  • are not practicable to ‘measure’.

There are two mechanisms for taking these uses into account in compensation negotiations:

  1. uses recorded in surveys that are excluded in the course of processing the survey records (which follows protocols agreed between Copyright Agency and CAG and UA); and
  2. overall discounts in the flat fees, to reflect the class of excluded use.

Processing exclusions include:

  • quotations and extracts of three paragraphs or less;
  • material created exclusively by the surveyed institution’s current employees: teacher’s own work;
  • media or press releases;
  • examination papers/materials if used for assessment purposes;
  • logos;
  • advertisements; and
  • content published by Commonwealth departments and agencies.[44]

Discounts are negotiated for uses such as the following:

  • the use of ‘small portions’;
  • copying from ‘blackline masters’;[45] and
  • use of content that may lack sufficient ‘originality’ to be protected by copyright.[46]

6.7       Books teachers chose to copy in schools

The following are lists of the books teachers most often chose to copy in primary and secondary schools from 2011–16.[47] The lists represent how widely the books were copied (that is, in the highest number of schools), rather than amounts allocated to those titles. There is more information on our website.[48]

6.8       Books copied in primary schools

PM Benchmark 1: Reading Assessment Resource

Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Within Word Pattern Spellers

Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Letter Name-Alphabetic Spellers

Arty Animal Outlines

Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Syllables and Affixes Spellers

PM Benchmark Kit 1: Teachers’ Notes

Times Table Challenge

PM Benchmark Kit 2: Reading Assessment Resource

Grammar Handbook 1: A Handbook for Teaching Grammar and Spelling

Starting Sounds: Book 1

Primary Mathematics: Book A

M100W: Magic 100 Words: Learning Centres Resource

Crafty Rhymes and Activities

Words Their Way: Word Sorts for Derivational Relations Spellers

Teaching Reading Comprehension Strategies: A Practical Classroom Guide

Primary Mathematics: Book C

Maths Plus Student Book: Year 4

PM Benchmark Kit 2: Teachers’ Notes

Primary Mathematics: Book E

Phonics Handbook: A Handbook for Teaching Reading Writing and Spelling: In Print Letters

NSW Targeting Maths: Year 2: Student Book

Primary Mathematics: Book F

NSW Targeting Maths: Year 3: Student Book

Sound Waves 3: Student Book

6.9       Books copied in secondary schools

Motivating Mathematics: Over 200 Puzzles

Science Focus 1: Homework Book

Science Focus 3: Homework Book

Year 8 Mathematics Revision and Exam Workbook

Pearson Mathematics 8: Student Book

Cambridge Preliminary Mathematics General

Geography Focus 2: Stage Five

Have Sum Fun: 200 Maths Puzzles

Year 9 Mathematics Revision and Exam Workbook 1 (Essential Skills: Years 7 To 10 Series)

Sum Fun: 170 Maths Puzzles

Geoactive 2: Stage 5: Australian Geography

Pearson Science 10: Activity Book

Pearson Science 8: Activity Book

Excel Essential Skills: New Year 7 Mathematics Revision and Exam Workbook 1

Geography Focus: Book 1

Maths Mate 8: Student Pad

Pearson Science 7 Activity Book

Retroactive 1: Stage 4: World History

Maths Quest 8 for the Australian Curriculum and Ebookplus: Student Edition

Pearson Science 9: Activity Book

Pearson Science 9: Student Book

Pearson Mathematics 7: Vol 1: Student Book

Geoactive 2: Stage 5: Australian Geography

History Alive 9 for the Australian Curriculum and Ebookplus

Excel Essential Skills Preliminary General Mathematics: Revision and Exam Workbook (Excel Essential Skills Series)

7.      Statutory licences: governments

The statutory licence for governments allows Commonwealth, State and Territory government departments and agencies to make any use of any copyright content for the services of the government.[49] Copyright Agency has been ‘declared’ by the Copyright Tribunal as the collecting society authorised to collect and distribute ‘equitable remuneration’ for government copying of text images and print music.[50] Copyright Agency also licenses, as agent for its members, the communication of text, images and print music.[51]

The statutory licence does not apply to government-related entities that are not ‘the Crown’, or to local governments, but Copyright Agency offers ‘voluntary’ licences for them.

Copyright Agency has received limited recent usage data from governments, which means recent distributions of licence fees have been based on data indicating content available for use, rather than reported as used.

For total revenue from the government sector, see 4.1 Licence fees by sector.

7.1        Developments in 2015–16

  • agreements signed with Queensland and South Australia on payments for past and future sales of survey plans (and close to finalised with Victorian government)
  • agreements signed with Northern Territory and South Australian governments on government use of content
  • negotiations with other state governments and Commonwealth in train

7.2       Number of government employees

The table below indicates the number of employees (full-time equivalent: FTE), according to the most recent reports we have received.

State Reported for FTEs
Commonwealth 2014-2015 207,684
ACT 2015-2016 14,536
NSW 2011-2012 208,308
Northern Territory 2015-2016 16,292
Queensland 2014-2015 131,251
Victoria 2014-2015 67,118
Western Australia 2015-2016 77,215
Tasmania 2013-2014 20,095
South Australia 2015-2016 81,268

7.3       Engagement with sector

Engagement with the government sector included:

  • participation in the Victorian Automated Library Association biennial national conference and exhibition
  • sponsorship of the NSW State Conference for surveyors
  • sponsorship of the 2016 NSW Awards for Excellence in Surveying and Spatial Information

8.      Statutory licences: people with a disability

There are statutory licences in the Copyright Act that allow institutions (including educational institutions) to provide materials in suitable formats for people with disabilities.[52] Copyright Agency is appointed by the Australian Government to manage these licences for text, but Copyright Agency’s board has decided to not seek payment under these licences. The government intends to amend the Copyright Act to replace the statutory licences with an exception for institutions assisting people with disabilities.

Copyright Agency has developed an online database of ‘master’ copies, known as the Master Copy Catalogue, to assist institutions to share information about their holdings of ‘master copies’ that can be made available to other institutions under the statutory licences.

There are more than 80 institutions participating in the Masters Copy Catalogue, and there are now more than 14,000 accessible format master copies made under the statutory licence, recorded in the catalogue, available to Australian institutions assisting people with a disability.

8.1       Developments in 2015–16

  • Australia ratified the Marrakesh Treaty[53] for the visually impaired in December 2015[54]
  • Copyright Agency presentation at 2016 Print Disability Roundtable[55]
  • Copyright Agency participation in Australian Publishers’ Association webinars on Marrakesh treaty
  • release of draft copyright amendments for people with disabilities

9.      Commercial and other ‘voluntary’ licences

Members can appoint us as their agent to include their works in various licence schemes we offer. The licences also cover the works of rightholders represented by our international affiliates. Licensees include organisations in the corporate and not-for-profit sectors.

We offer ‘blanket’ annual licences, which cover uses of all works we represent. We also offer ‘pay-per-use’ (transactional) licences, including through an online automated facility.[56]

The licences do not cover works that are listed on Copyright Agency’s website as excluded works,[57] but do include an indemnity for uses of other works not represented by us.

Licence fees reflect the value of the licences (e.g. compared to other commercial licensing arrangements), and consultations with members. Licence terms also reflect consultations with members and the extent of their authorisation to us. Consultations are ongoing (particularly with publishers of scientific, medical and technical journals, and with newspaper publishers), to review licence conditions in the light of developments such as changing business practices.

Licence fees for the commercial sector vary for different types of businesses, but are all higher than the compensation paid by governments under the statutory licence.[58]

Licence fees paid by quasi-government bodies are lower than the compensation paid by governments, because the licence does not cover all uses allowed by the statutory licence (e.g. use of entire works available for purchase, or uses of content excluded from our voluntary licences).

For total revenue from commercial and other voluntary licences, see 4.1 Licence fees by sector.

9.1       Developments in 2015–16

  • 146 new clients and 60 extended licences to cover additional content and uses resulting in a 11% increase in licence fees from the corporate sector
  • Continuation of monitoring program for corporate websites with infringing publication of newspaper content with a view to increased uptake of licences in the corporate sector
  • Renegotiation of licensing arrangements for digital press clippings
  • Extension of online licensing portal RightsPortal to enable pay-per-use licensing for journal articles

9.2       Licences for the corporate sector

In addition to our general licence for corporations, we have licences covering the specific requirements of:

  • pharmaceutical companies
  • public relations (PR) companies
  • law firms
  • Australian-based firms with offices in other countries

Other licence schemes include:

  • digital press clippings (as agent for newspaper and magazine publishers)
  • inclusion of journal articles and other works in commercial subscription services

9.3       Not-for-profit sector

We offer licences (which we refer to as Associations Licences) for a range of not-for-profit entities, including incorporated associations, unincorporated associations, societies and unions. We have specific sector licences for:

  • local governments;
  • religious organisations; and
  • civil celebrants

9.4       Quasi-government bodies

We have a special licence for quasi-government bodies that may not be able to rely on the statutory licence for governments because they are not part of the Commonwealth or a State or Territory government. The licence operates in a similar way to the government statutory licence, but does not allow the copying of entire works that are available for purchase (only a portion may be copied).

In 2015–16:

Sector Number of licensees Licence fees $
State and Territory 12 94,888
Commonwealth 3 22,022

9.5       Transactional (pay per use) licences

We offer transactional (pay per use) licences in two ways:

  • an automated online service (RightsPortal);[59] and
  • a manual clearance service.

The automated service currently applies to newspaper content (text, but not images), but is being extended to enable licensing of articles from scholarly journals.

For content not yet covered by the online facility, we offer a manual clearance service. Licensees make a request by email, and we respond within 48 hours. We liaise with the rightsholder, who decides whether or not to license and sets a price, and manage the licence arrangements, invoicing and payment.

Most of the users of these services are publishers.

9.6       Engagement with licensees

The Commercial Licensing team engages with current and potential licensees in a variety of ways. In 2015–16, they conducted 44 training sessions with a range of organisations around Australia.

The team also spoke at:

  • the PRIA national conference
  • the PRIA RCG national conference

And the team participated in the following conferences and events:

  • CommsCon
  • Mumbrella360
  • General Counsel Summit
  • ARCS – Regulatory and Science
  • Australian Corporate Counsel (ACC) NSW
  • ACC Victoria
  • ACC WA
  • ACC National

10.   Viscopy services

Copyright Agency began managing Viscopy’s services on 2 July 2012, pursuant to an agreement approved by the Australian Consumer and Competition Authority.[60] The services include managing Viscopy’s relationships with its members, international affiliates and licensees.

Viscopy represents more than 13,000 artists, artists’ estates and beneficiaries. Through its international affiliations, Viscopy also represents more than 40,000 foreign artists.

Viscopy’s major licensees are auction houses and public galleries. Most of Viscopy’s licences are pay-per-use (rather than ‘all of repertoire’).[61]

10.1      Developments in 2015–16

  • 7% increase in fees from direct licences collected for members
  • highest ever number of applicants for John Fries award
  • Indigenous education program for visual artists

10.2     Artists represented

Year Australian artists represented
2009 7,300
2010 7,581
2011 8,761
2012 8,876
2013 10,074
2014 11,399
2015 11,642
2016 13,362

10.3     Total income

Revenue Class $m
Viscopy licence fees 0.92
Statutory compensation (collected by Copyright Agency and Screenrights) 1.16
Foreign licence fees (from international affiliates) 0.46
Interest 0.04
Total Revenue 2.58


10.4     Viscopy licence fees

Domestic Licensing (by client sector) $ (approx) Total licences
Auction Houses 438,376 111
National and state galleries/museums 251,328 188
Book publishers 54,441 147
Corporate/Commercial 44,710 37
Education, University, & regional Galleries/Museums 35,858 24
Magazine and newspaper publishers 23,545 24
Commercial galleries 28,438 51
Government 22,227 31
Non-profit organisation 11,529 14
Broadcasting, film and television 9,632 16
Total 920,084 643

10.5     Deductions

The services agreement between Viscopy and Copyright Agency sets out the deductions from licence fees and other income payable to Copyright Agency. In the first year of the agreement, this was 25% of licence fees from Viscopy licences and statutory licence fees collected by Copyright Agency and Screenrights, and 10% of foreign licence fees.  There is no deduction by Viscopy from artists’ resale royalties collected by Copyright Agency. The services agreement provides for the deduction from statutory licence fees collected by Copyright Agency to be reduced to 10% over a three-year period.

10.6     Amounts distributed

Amount When paid
$1,048,812 September 2015
$193,618 December 2015
$238,684 March 2015
$188,493 June 2016

10.7     Distribition recipients

ANZ members International members Total
Direct 498 618 1,116
International 692 396 1,088
Statutory 96 207 303
Total 1,286 1,221 2,507

10.8     Voice of the Artist

Viscopy provided funding for a program called Voice of the Artist, with the aim of stimulating discussion about how we value images and create opportunities for creators, users and consumers. The program included:

  • a survey of artists;[62]
  • a publication, guided by the survey, with feature articles from artists, academics and writers;[63] and
  • an event at the Art Gallery of NSW, as part of the annual Vivid Festival, with speakers including Christopher Hudson, publisher at the Museum of Modern Art in New York.[64]

11.    Artists’ resale royalty scheme

The artists’ resale royalty scheme commenced on 9 June 2010. Copyright Agency was appointed by the Minister for the Arts to manage the scheme in May 2010.

The scheme requires payment of a 5% royalty of the sale price on certain resales of artworks by Australian artists. [65] It also requires the reporting of all resales with a sales value of $1,000 or more to Copyright Agency, with sufficient information to determine if a royalty is payable. A royalty is not payable if the seller acquired the work before the scheme commenced.

There is a dedicated website – – which has an online reporting facility, and online registration facility for contact details for artists and art market professionals.

11.1       Developments in 2015–16

At 30 June 2016, the scheme had generated over $4.3 million in royalties for 1,200 artists from more than 12,800 resales.

  • The artists who received royalties were at different stages of their careers and different parts of Australia, including urban and remote areas.
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists represented 65% of the artists receiving royalties, and received 39% of the royalties.
  • 40% of recipients live in the Northern Territory, and 16% in South Australia and Western Australia (mostly in regional and remote areas).
  • The number of artists benefitting from the scheme continues to increase, with a further 145 or 14% more artists who have now had an eligible resale this financial year.

11.2      Results for 2015–16

2015–16 Since June 2010
Resales reported[66] 8,252 50,942
Resales subject to royalty[67] 2,120 12,821
Royalties invoiced $754k $3.7m
Royalties collected $713k $3.5m
Royalties paid (exc admin fee) $621k $3.1m

11.3      Percentage of resales subject to royalties, by payment range

The following shows the percentage of resales reported to Copyright Agency that prima facie meet the eligibility criteria for payment of a royalty, by payment range.[68]

2010–11 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
Sale amount Royalty amount
$1,000­–1,999 $50–99 40% 45% 44% 42% 41% 40%
$2,000–19,999 $100–999 60% 54% 53% 54% 52% 54%
$20,000–99,999 $1,000–4,999 1% 1% 2% 3% 4% 5%
$100,000­–399,999 $5,000­–19,999 0% 0% 0% 1% 1% 1%
$400,000+ $20,000+ 0% 0% 0% 0% 1% 0%

11.4      Stakeholder engagement

Copyright Agency used a variety of methods to communicate information about the scheme to stakeholders. Presentations included:

Where When Audi-ence Comments
Darwin Aboriginal Art Fair Aug-15 100 Attended by more than sixty Art Centres from across Northern and Central Australia representing over 2000 Indigenous artists.
Panellist on “ Not theft, its art” panel at La Trobe University Aug-15 50 Attended by artists, writers and lawyers interested in intellectual property issues
Desertmob Industry Lounge, Alice Springs Sep-15 200 Central Australian artists and industry stakeholders
Tarnathi Indigenous arts festival, SA Oct 15 300 This inaugural event reached many artists, writers and industry stakeholders
Meeting at Castlemaine museum and gallery Oct 15 10 Met with curators and CEO to discuss resale, copyright, licensing and ICIP rights
Asia Pacific Triennial, GOMA Nov 15 500 Networked with Aboriginal and NZ artists
Torres Strait Islander regional authority artist forum April 16 100 Held on  Thursday Island this workshop catered to artists from this and surrounding islands
Workshop with Umi artists April 16 30 Cairns based Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists
Copyright workshop at QLD museum April 16 15 QLD Museum curators and collections managers
Guest lecture at Wollongong university Oct 15 20 Focus of this session was copyright and Indigenous cultural IP rights
Workshops at Mid north coast NSW Feb 16 20 Spoke to local Aboriginal artists from Kempsey, Coffs harbour and mid North coast NSW
WIPO Pacific regional delegation Feb 16 20 Focus of this session was traditional cultural expressions and copyright issues
Aboriginal artist camp on South Stradbroke Island, QLD Apr 16 20 10 selected emerging Gold Coast Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists were mentored by Torres Strait Islander artist, Brian Robinson.
Artist and writers workshop, Thirroul, NSW May 16 50 Local South Coast artists and writers
Westpac financial literacy workshop at Ngurra tjuta Arts and Tangentyere arts June 16 30 Teamed with Westpac for these sessions.   Westpac presented on how to manage income like royalties and art sales


12.   Payments to content creators

Statutory compensation, licence fees and royalties are held in trust for content creators until paid. Statutory compensation and licence fees are paid to owners of copyright whose works have been used, or are available for use, by licensees.

Data for distribution is acquired from a variety of sources, including surveys of usage by licensees and data that indicates content available to licensees. There are a series of processes involved in allocating payments to content creators based on the best data available at a reasonable cost within the relevant time period. These include processing and analysing the available data, applying relative values for different types of content and uses, and identifying and contacting content creators. The processes are sometimes complex, accounting for the time between receipt of licence fees, allocation, and payment.

Where there is more than one person with a copyright interest (e.g. author and publisher), we can distribute to each if we have verified information about the payment shares. Otherwise, we pay to one person with a copyright interest, on their undertaking to share with any others with an entitlement to a share.

Distribution policy is overseen by the Board, and published on our website.[69]

The Copyright Tribunal has power to review distribution arrangements for statutory licence fees.

12.1      Developments in 2015–16

  • $5m in copyright licence fees paid to 9,600 content creators
  • Additional communications on how licence fees were distributed[70]

12.2     Payments to content creators by income source

The following table shows the sources of payments distributed in 2015–16:

Source $ m %
Education (statutory) 83.97 73%
Government (statutory) 5.56 5%
Surveyors (statutory) 2.64 2%
Artists Resale Royalty (statutory) 0.62 1%
Commercial (voluntary) 19.42 17%
Overseas (voluntary) 3.29 3%
Total 115.50 100%


12.3     Payments to content creators by content type

The following tables show estimates of payments according to sources of content. Distributions of licence fees from the education sector were based on surveys of usage in a statistical sample of educational institutions. Distributions of licence fees from governments (apart from those for sales of survey plans) were based on data indicating content available for use.


Source $m Education $m Gov $m Other $m Total
Book 65.45 2.46 5.54 73.46
Website[71] 5.88 0.09 0.01 5.98
Journal 5.50 2.47 2.96 10.93
Magazine 0.58 0.02 0.61 1.21
Newspaper 0.60 0.49 12.57 13.66
Survey plans 2.64 2.64
Other[72] 5.94 0.04 1.64 7.61
Total 83.97 8.20 23.33 115.50


Source Education Gov Other % overall
Book 78% 30% 24% 64%
Website 7% 1% 0% 5%
Journal 7% 30% 13% 9%
Magazine 1% 0% 3% 1%
Newspaper 1% 6% 54% 12%
Survey plans 0% 32% 0% 2%
Other 7% 0% 7% 7%

12.4     Total distributions for 2015–16 by recipient class

$m % recipients[73]
Australian recipients Education resources creators[74] 51.04 44% 1,045
Other core content creators[75] 36.30 31% 6,484
Not-for-profit bodies[76] 3.04 3% 546
Education/training bodies[77] 1.70 1% 115
Government bodies[78] 0.47 0% 81
Other[79] 1.45 1% 1,114
Total 94.02 81% 9,385
Foreign recipients Foreign collecting societies 18.21 16% 22
Other foreign recipients 3.47 3% 196
Total 21.68 19% 218
GRAND TOTAL   115.5 100% 9,603

12.5     Payments to recipients by state and territory

State Education licence fees Government licence fees[80] Artists’ resale royalties
NSW 50% 57% 28%
VIC 34% 13% 26%
QLD 9% 26% 3%
WA 5% 1% 2%
ACT 1% 1% 1%
SA 1% 1% 1%
NT >1% >1% 35%
TAS >1% >1% 4%
Total 100% 100% 100%


12.6     Recipients of payments by recipient category

Our payments reach rightsholders in two ways: directly (from us) and indirectly (through a member or another collecting society).

Where there is more than one rightsholder in a work (e.g. publisher and author), we can pay each rightsholder directly where we have information about the payment shares they have agreed between or among them. Otherwise, we pay one rightsholder on their undertaking to on-pay any amounts due to other rightsholders.

Of the total payments of $115.50m in 2015–16:

  Obligation to share[81] No obligation to share[82] Total
Initial recipient $m
Organisations 55.5 27.6 83.1
Individual creators 6.6 6.2 12.8
Local collecting societies 1.5 1.5
Foreign collecting societies 18.1 18.1
TOTAL 81.7 33.8 115.5

12.7Recipients of licence fees from schools by recipient category

$m % recipients[83]
Australian recipients Education resources creators[84] 35.86 68% 947
Other core content creators[85] 8.35 16% 1863
Not-for-profit bodies[86] 1.83 3% 290
Education/training bodies[87] 0.78 1% 84
Government bodies[88] 0.24 <1% 35
Other[89] 0.42 <1% 439
Total 47.50 88% 3,658
Foreign recipients Foreign collecting societies 5.21 10% 24
Other foreign recipients 0.38 <1% 61
Total 5.59 10% 85
TOTAL   53.09 100% 3,743

12.8         Recipients of licence fees from Universities by recipient category

$m % recipients
Australian recipients Education resources creators 9.12 35% 106
Other core content creators 6.80 26% 961
Not-for-profit bodies 1.83 3% 290
Education/training bodies 0.23 1% 45
Government bodies 0.06 <1% 17
Other 0.13 1% 108
Total 18.18 66% 1,527
Foreign recipients Foreign collecting societies 7.06 27% 20
Other foreign recipients 2.20 9% 66
Total 9.26 36% 86
TOTAL   25.82 100% 1,435

12.9     Initial recipients of licence fees from schools and universities by category

Most allocations are paid to one recipient, who undertakes to share the payment with anyone else with an entitlement to share of the payment, such as an author with a contractual entitlement.

  Schools Universities
  $m recipients $m recipients
Individual creators 7.6 2,310 2.7 898
Organisations[90] 40.2 1,410 16.0 518
Foreign collecting societies 5.2 23 7.1 19
TOTAL 53.0 3,743 25.8 1,435

12.10    Payments to individual non-staff creators

The following is based on information provided by members organisations that received nearly 80% of the $40m in schools licence fees, and $16m in universities licence fees, that was not paid directly to individual creators or to foreign collecting societies. We have assumed that a similar proportion was shared with individual non-staff creators by the other recipients.

In addition to payments to individual non-staff creators, organisations also pay staff writers and illustrators.

Schools Universities
Paid direct to individual creators[91] 7.6 2.7
Paid indirectly by organisations that provided data 10.1 5.0
Paid indirectly by other organisations (estimated) 2.6 1.4
TOTAL 20.3 9.1

12.11     Number of recipients of shared payments

The organisations that provided information about sharing of licence fees from schools and universities reported paying more than 10,000 non-staff creators and having 400 writers and illustrators on staff.

Individual creators paid directly: schools + universities[92] 3,057
Contracted writers and illustrators who received payments from publishers >10,000
Staff writers and illustrators supported by licence fees >400

12.12    Recipients of compensation paid by governments

The distribution of compensation from governments in 2015 was (apart from that from survey plans) mostly based on data from various sources indicating content that was available to governments to use during the licence period (rather than information about actual use). We used different data sources for different types of content (such as books, journals, newspapers and images), in accordance with the best data available to us at the time at a reasonable cost.[93]

$m % recipients
Australian recipients Education resources creators 0.49 7% 126
Other core content creators 1.37 21% 1,600
Not-for-profit bodies 0.09 1% 63
Education/training bodies 0.05 1% 22
Government bodies >0.01 0% 4
Surveyors (back payments) 2.30 36% 414
Surveyors (current) 0.34 5% 416
Other 0.06 1% 116
Subtotal 4.39 72% 2,362[94]
Foreign recipients Foreign collecting societies 1.31 20% 21
Other foreign recipients 0.48 7% 39
Subtotal 2.10 28%  
TOTAL   6.49 100% 2,423

12.13    List of distributions for 2015–16

We publish our distribution schedule on our website, with information about how each distribution was calculated, including the source or sources of data used for the distribution and the licence period. The following is a list of distributions completed in 2015–16.

In some cases, there was more than one distribution of licence fees from a source during the year. This was because:

  • licence fees are paid more than once a year (e.g. universities; press clipping licence fees); or
  • there were difference sources of data for different types of content used under the licence (e.g. books, magazines, journals).

The deductions are in most cases based on projected operating costs, plus the 1.5% authorised by members for Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

  $ Completed Deduction %
Schools (annual) 53,088,481 1/06/2016 14.44
Universities (first biannual) 12,912,436 27/11/2015 14.44
Universities (second biannual) 12,912,421 18/05/2016 14.44
Independently licensed education institutions
Independently licensed institutions: books and journals 3,203,587 1/12/2015 16.53
Independently licensed institutions: images 576,190 27/11/2015 16.53
Independently licensed institutions: other 500,746 27/11/2015 16.53
Independently licensed institutions: newspapers and magazines 74,629 1/12/2015 16.53
Pre-schools 79,240 7/06/2016 14.80
Victorian TAFE colleges 424,577 31/07/2015 16.60
TAFE (other than Victoria): newspapers and magazines 26,344 11/03/2016 13.68
TAFE (other than Victoria): books, journals, other 1,373,897 14/03/2016 13.68
Text (including books, journals, newspapers, magazines) 3,849,463 8/04/2016 15.88
Department of Defence: music 120 19/04/2016 14.44
Images 1,875,966 7/06/2016 14.55
Department of Defence: music 394 29/10/2015 15.94
NSW (2003–2012) 1,838,970 8/10/2015 16.60
NSW (2014) 218,787 16/12/2015 15.10
NSW (2015, January–March) 62,434 15/02/2016 14.44
QLD (2002–2015) 939,674 14/04/2016 16.60
NSW (2015, April–June) 66,078 26/05/2016 14.44
Quasi-government organisations
Books, journals, other 189,587 19/04/2016 14.47
Newspapers and magazines 23,698 19/04/2016 14.47
Corporations and associations
Corporations: books, journals, other 1,902,870 4/04/2016 15.37
Corporations: newspapers and magazines 157,479 4/04/2016 15.37
Religious organisations: books, journals, other 354,812 7/06/2016 13.00
Religious organisations: newspapers and magazines – 201671 45,136 7/06/2016 13.00
Corporations and associations: images[95] 529,625 7/06/2016 15.06
Corporations: newspapers and magazines 208,198 30/09/2015 16.42
Press clippings
Digital press clippings (2014, March–June) 664,629 14/09/2015 10.00
Digital press clippings: Government downstream (2014, March–June) 46,508 14/09/2015 10.00
Photocopied press clippings (2010-15) 71,636 15/09/2015 14.13
Digital press clippings (2015, July–September) 567,909 18/03/2016 10.00
Digital press clippings: Government downstream (2015, July–September) 40,149 18/03/2016 10.00
Domestic recipients (2015, March–June) 54,449 29/07/2015 15.00
Overseas recipients (2015, March–June) 3,155 29/07/2015 15.00
Infringements (2015, March–June) 7,692 29/07/2015 15.00
Settlements (2015, March–June) 53,617 29/07/2015 15.00
Domestic recipients (2015, July–September) 53,562 29/10/2015 15.00
Overseas recipients (2015, July–September) 2,739 29/10/2015 15.00
Infringements (2015, July–September) 6,587 29/10/2015 15.00
Settlements (2015, July–September) 26,175 29/10/2015 15.00
Domestic recipients (2015, October–December) 27,678 1/02/2016 15.00
Overseas recipients (2015, October–December) 4,230 1/02/2016 15.00
Infringement (2015, October–December) 1,825 1/02/2016 15.00
Settlements (2015, October–December) 37,897 1/02/2016 15.00
Domestic recipients: journals (2015, October–December) 1,953 1/02/2016 15.00
Domestic recipients (2016, January–March) 16,536 18/04/2016 15.00
Settlements (2016, January–March) 72,519 18/04/2016 15.00
Document delivery/print on demand
EBSCO (2011–14) 53,094 14/09/2015 20.00
INFORMIT: A Plus (2014, June–September) 145,321 19/08/2015 20.00
INFORMIT: AGIS (2014, June–September) 231,872 19/08/2015 20.00
INFORMIT: APAFT & Collections (2014, June–September) 512,603 19/08/2015 20.00
Porter Geoconsultancy (2009–13) 2,666 14/09/2015 13.40
Proquest (2012–14) 34,679 14/09/2015 20.00
Classic Australian Works (2010–12) 507 14/09/2015 14.29
Foreign collecting societies
Copydan (Denmark) 156,347 4/08/2015 12.46
Access Copyright (Canada) 86,134 5/08/2015 9.32
Copyright Clearance Center (US) 139,250 5/08/2015 10.17
Copyright Licensing Agency (UK) 784,185 6/08/2015 13.59
JAACC (Japan) 160,118 7/08/2015 15.58
Copyright Licensing New Zealand 34,936 13/08/2015 16.60
Copyright Licensing New Zealand 709,682 13/08/2015 13.33
Copyright Licensing New Zealand 261,946 16/02/2016 14.44
Licence fees without data 660,649 21/03/2016 13.68
Authors Licensing and Collecting Society (UK) 611,877 14/04/2016 14.44


13.   Cultural Fund

Copyright Agency’s Constitution allows the Board to allocate up to 1.5% of income to cultural development through the Cultural Fund.[96] The Cultural Fund supports a wide variety of projects each year.

In 2015–16, $2.06 million was provided through the Cultural Fund for 66 projects, 43 applicants for the career fund,  and 8 Copyright Agency Fellowships.

Applications Approved Declined
Cultural Fund 195 66 129
Career Fund 372 43 323

13.1      Recipients by category 2011–16

Category $’000 %
Education/Training/Workshop 1,599 17%
Residency/Fellowship 1,496 16%
Reading Australia 1,127 12%
Prize/Award/Grant 1,081 12%
Festival/Event 798 8%
Mentorship 795 8%
Conference/Symposium 693 7%
Intern/Traineeship 459 5%
Cultural Exchange 452 5%
Advocacy/Research 307 3%
Journal/Review 296 3%
Digital development 253 3%
Production/new work 60 1%
TOTAL 9,416 100%

13.2     Projects supported by the Cultural Fund in 2015–16

The following projects were approved for funding in 2015–16. These, and projects supported in previous years, are described in more detail on our website.[97] In some cases, the funding was approved for a project spanning two or three years.

Applicant Amount Project
Festival of Golden Words Inc $10,000 Tamar Valley Writers Festival
Australian Children’s Literature Alliance $24,000 Australian Children’s Laureate
Kid’s Own Inc $30,000 Into the Grand Imaginarium: Authors and illustrators inspiring family creativity (over three years)
Arts Margaret River $10,000 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival
Writing WA $10,000 Singapore-Western Australia Book Industry Trade Summit
The Literature Centre Inc. $60,000 Regional Talented Young Writers Programme (over three years)
Carriageworks $30,000 The Patrick White Project (over two years)
Currency House $22,800 An investment in cultural leadership (over three years)
State Library of Queensland $20,000 Communities of Story
Australian Centre of the Moving Image $20,000 ACMI X – Creative Industries Co-working Space – writer residencies
National Gallery of Victoria $30,000 Melbourne Art Book Fair
Perth International Arts Festival $10,000 Perth Writers Festival Inspired Learning Program
The Red Room Company Poetry $20,000 Poetry Object: supporting excellence in poetry across Australia (over two years)
Centre for Media History, Macquarie University $15,000 Brian Johns Lecture series (over three years)
La Trobe Uni (Huss) 15,000 Teaching Australia
UTS $80,000 CA New Writers Program (over two years)
Australian Embassy Beijing $20,000 Australian Writers Week 2016
Sydney Review of Books $10,000 Sydney Review of Books Emerging Critics Fellowships
The Lifted Brow $15,000 Prize for Experimental Non-fiction and Related Writing Workshops (over three years)
O L Society Limited $15,000 Overland Residency (over two years)
Chart Collective $5,000 Chart Collective Online Map Content
Westerly Centre $5,000 Westerly Magazine’s Writer Development Program
Sappho Poetry Reading Series $30,000 Sappho Poetry Read (over three years)
Queensland Poetry Festival $12,000 Indigenous Poetry Prize (over two years)
Australian Poetry $20,000 Australian Poets Festival and National Poetry Prize (over two years)
Perpetual Limited $32,000 Miles Franklin Shortlist
Playwriting Australia $40,000 Indigenous Playwrights Retreat (over two years)
Queensland Theatre Company $90,000 Indigenous New Work Residency (over three years)
Playlab $10,500 The Incubator
Malthouse Theatre $45,000 Co.Lab: Malthouse Theatre Writer and Director Program (over three years)
The Walkley Foundation $10,000 Walkley Foundation Freelance Program
The Walkley Foundation $30,000 Walkley Foundation Storyology Festival (over two years)
Australian Publishers Association $20,000 Hello! From Australia
Australian Booksellers Association $7,000 Australian Booksellers Association Conference
Newcastle Art Gallery $12,000 Black White and Restive
Sydney Non Objective $10,000 SNO Young and Emerging Artists Interdisciplinary Project
Das Platforms $10,000 Oberon Editorial Project (over two years)
Melbourne Fringe $4,500 Artist Development Forum Series and Resources
Koorie Heritage Trust $15,000 Nukun and Ngujarn Footprints
WestWords Ltd $20,000 Western Sydney Writers’ Fellowships / Artist Residencies
PEN Melbourne $39,000 PEN Melbourne FreeSpeak Project 2016 – 2018 (over three years)
Express Media $19,200 Toolkits – intensive, craft-specific online programs for young writers
proppaNOW INC $5,000 proppaNOW (May Activism Program)
arts margaret river $10,000 Margaret River Readers and Writers Festival
Koorie Heritage Trust $15,000 Nukun and Ngujarn Footprints
Sydney Non Objective $10,000 SNO Young and Emerging Artists Interdisciplinary Project
Westerly Centre $5,000 Westerly Magazine’s Writer Development Program
writingWA $10,000 Singapore-Western Australia Book Industry Trade Summit
WestWords Ltd $20,000 CAL Western Sydney Writers’ Fellowships/Artist residencies
The Big Issue $25,000 The Big Issue Fiction Edition
Helm Wood Publishers Pty Ltd trading as Centre for Stories $10,000 The Australian Short Story Festival
Griffith Review $20,000 Griffith Review The Novella Project IV Competition
UWA Publishing $55,500 Dorothy Hewett Award for an unpublished manuscript
Anne Summers Reports (ASR) $15,000 Illuminate
Spineless Wonders $10,000 Spineless Wonders Presents…Little Fictions
Australasian Association of Writing Programs $9,000 Meniscus literary journal: expanding reach
The Australian Historical Association $24,000 AHA-Copyright Agency Travel and Writing Bursaries, 2009-2010, 2011-2013, 2014-2016
Small Press Network Inc. $60,000 Independent Publishing Conference
The Walkley Foundation $20,000 Walkley Digital Media Innovation Program
The Walkley Foundation $45,000 Walkley Training Program
Victorian College of the Arts, University of Melbourne $60,000 Art & Australia Residential Fellowship Program
Desart Inc $11,365 Our Land Our Life Our Future
The National Association for the Visual Arts (NAVA) $126,000 The Copyright Agency Visual Arts and Craft Fellowship
Australian Network for Art & Technology (ANAT) $100,000 Synapse: where art and science meet
Naomi Milgrom Foundation $9,600 MPavilion International Curator Forum
The Literature Centre Inc $10,000 Celebrate Reading National Conference 2016

13.3     Career Fund support 2015–16

The following were successful applicants for Career Fund support in 2015–16.

Recipient Amount For
Michelle Hall $3,500 Artist residencies at School of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at Bristol University and a Residency at Aberystwyth Arts Centre, Wales.
Nette Hilton $1,300 Mentorship with  Kathryn Heyman
Ross Onley-Zerkel  $5,000 Structured writing mentorship with the assistance of Auslan interpreters.
Rosetta Mills $2,500 Masterclasses at U- Symposium in Singapore and Facing Pages in Arnhem.
Nicole Gill $1,000 ACT Writers Centre’s HARDCOPY program.
Jason Hendrik Hansma $2,200 Workshop at Jan Van Eyck Academy in Maastricht, The Netherlands.
Anna Louise Richardson $2,500 Curatorial internship and mentoring program with Curator of the 2016 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art.
Carolyn McKenzie Craig $1,400 International Print Conference IMPACT in Hangzhou, China.
Aleesah Darlison $1,300 2015 WORD Vancouver International Literary Festival in Canada and 2015 Young Child Expo & Conference in Spokane USA.
Caelli Jo Brooker $1,500 Intensive practical workshops and mentored studio access to develop her skills and knowledge in the discipline of letterpress.
Anita Bacic $1,800 Mentorship in Korcula, Croatia with an urban and cultural anthropologist and a media artist and curator.
Anthony White $1,000 Lithographic Printmaking workshop with Master Printer Michael Woolworth in Paris.
Kim Anderson $2,500 DRAW International, a structured residency in France.
Rosie Isaac $2,300 Structured residency at Hospitalfield, Scotland.
Josiane Smith $790 Redact weekend intensive workshop for manuscript assessment.
Sarah Holland-Batt $3,000 VIII International Latin American Poetry Festival in Buenos Aires.
Eleanor Limprecht $1,000 2016 Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop in Portland, Oregon.
Kailum Graves $2,000 SOMA Summer in Mexico, an intensive eight-week program for international artists, curators, critics, and art historians.
Christian Halford $3,000 Mentorship with renowned Australia painter Nicholas Harding.
Charmaine Green $2,000 Mentorship with Rolande Souliere a First Nation Canadian artist.
Brooke Robinson $2,000 Musical theatre development workshop ‘Books, Music & Lyrics’.
Ben Beames $1,500 Mentorship with Rachel David of Red Metal in New Orleans.
Alicia King $2,000 Classes in creating glass neon forms at UrbanGlass in Brooklyn.
Christina Booth $1,000 2016 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators bi-annual conference in Sydney.
Tania Smith $1,000 Residency at the University of San Carlos, Cebu.
Kieran Swann $2,000 Internship program, Portland Institute of Contemporary Art.
Alicia Sometimes $1,500 Bloomsbury Festival in the UK; mentorship with John-Paul Muir.
Bruce Pascoe $15,000 Continue work on a pair of novels: ‘The Grain Armies’ and ‘The Great Dividing Range’.
Angela Valamanesh $15,000 Artist in residence at the Rare Book / Special Collections.
Paddy O’Reilly $10,000 Complete novel ‘The White Line’, a story of survival at the bottom of the so-called ‘trickle down effect’.
Daniel Keene $10,000 Complete two works for the theatre: a volume of short plays (Short Plays III) and a play for young audiences (Pirouttes).
Angela Slatter $1,000 Writer-in-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre in Perth WA for 2016.
Rhonda Pryor $1,200 Undertake ten-day residential workshop with Japanese Textile Workshops in Japan.
Toby Fitch $2,000 Participate in two poetry conferences in the United States.
Thomas Borgas $1,700 Participate in Resonate, a five day program of lectures, panel discussions, exhibitions and workshops for artists, designers and educators.
Hannah Robinson $1,500 Work with mentor, photographer Christina Force.
Jennifer Mackenzie $1,200 Participate in writer’s residency at Seoul Art Space_Yeonhui, South Korea.
Tamara Lazaroff $2,400 Undertake structured writer’s residency at Can Serrat International Arts Centre, Spain in 2016.
Pam Brown $1,350 Present on work, give a talk on Australian poetry and work as an editor, do two substantial readings in the US.
Joanna Gould $3,000 Professional development workshops with mentors from the broader creative industries.
Wendy Dunn $1,650 Participate in a Varuna Writer Development Residency.
Tim Woodward $2,000 Undertake a structured residency at Ruang Mes 56 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, learning Javanese woodcarving and wood-shaping techniques.
Liesl Pfeffer $1,600 Residency at the Vermont Studio Center (VSC) in Johnson, Vermont.
Susan Hawthorne $3,000 Speaking at the Women Leaders in Peacebuilding and Building Lives Conference to be held in Lingayen, Pangasinan, Philippines.
Anita Larkin $1,500  Mentorship with contemporary ceramic artist Lynda Draper for a 15-week period.
Donica Bettanin $2,500 Participate in the 2016 Atelier for Young Festival Managers in Budapest, Hungary.
Elizabeth Bryer $2,000 Participate in Middlebury Bread Loaf Translators’ Conference, in Ripton, Vermont, USA.
Valerie Sparks $2,800 Undertake training with the CSIRO Autonomous Systems Lab in Brisbane, and the Perceptual Robotics Laboratory in Pisa, Italy (PERCRO).
James Voller $2,000 Artist in residence at the Vermont Studio Centre and Kala Art Fellowship residency in Berkeley.
Jennifer Kemarre Martiniello $1,000 Undertake the structured residencies at Blue Dog Glass, Melbourne.
Rebekah Clarkson $1,000 Participate in International conference on the Short Story in English, Shanghai, China.
Inez Baranay $1,000 Participate in the congress Go Between, In Between: Borders of Belonging, Barcelona.
Michael Giacometti $2,000 Participate in the Faber Academy UK online ‘Writing a Novel’ course.

13.4     Fellowships

Fellowship $ Awarded to
Author fellowship[98] 40,000 Mark Henshaw
Publisher fellowships[99] 10,000 Chrysoula Aiellou (Scholastic Australia): children’s publishing in the digital environment
5,000 Glenda Browne: active indexes for e-books
10,000 Naomi Gothard: digital ways to overcome barriers to Indigenous translations
5,000 Gemene Heffernan-Smith (HarperCollins Australia): how digital technology can be harnessed to counter piracy
10,000 Andrew Wrathall (Books + Publishing): survey and analyse online book reviewing in Asia and Australia
Copyright research fellowships[100] 20,000 Professor Melissa de Zwart:  “How Does Copyright Function in an Instagram World”
20,000 Dr Dimitrios Eliades: “Copyright and Indigenous Traditional Knowledge”

14.   Money held in trust for content creators

At any given time, we are holding money in trust for content creators. The balance of money in the trust fund changes significantly over the course of a year, increasing with the receipt of licence fees, and decreasing with the distributions of licence fees.

The reasons that licence fees may not have been paid at a given date include:

  • the payment was only recently received;
  • we have not yet received the information need to allocate to rightsholders; and
  • fees have been allocated, but not yet paid, to rightsholders.

14.1      Trust fund components at 30 June 2016

As at 30 June 2016, there was $47.64m in trust, representing:

Fees allocated but not yet paid $10.67m 22%
Fees to be allocated $17.65m 37%
Other[101] $19.32m 41%

14.2     Funds for distribution

  Allocated but not yet paid To be allocated
Education $7.97m $6.02m
Government $1.30m $4.26m
Other $1.40m $7.37m
Total $10.67m $17.65m

14.3     Funds allocated but not yet paid, by reason

Education Gov Other Total
We have not yet received confirmation of entitlement to claim. $4,398,552 $339,934 $357,157 $5,095,643
We have invited a non-member to join and claim payment, or we are in the process of making contact $1,339,357 $623,882 $786,357 $2,749,596
We have allocated a payment to a rightsholder, but they are not entitled to claim and we are in the process of identifying alternative rightsholders $783,177 $136,617 $162,389 $1,082,185
Payments allocated to foreign rightsholders from a country:

·      with a collecting society with which we have a ‘Type B’ agreement (repertoire exchange but not fee exchange);

·      with a collecting society that is not authorised by its members for the type of content or use (e.g. digital use); or

·      no collecting society

$567,525 $93,815 $20,206 $681,545
There is not enough information to identify a rightsholder, or we have exhausted all attempts to identify a rightsholder (where a number of potential rightsholders have informed us they are not entitled to claim the payment) $355,449 $7,097 $24,386 $386,931
There is a dispute about who is entitled to claim, or clarification of entitlement is pending. $522,420 $96,804 $53,223 $672,447
Total $7,966,480 $1,298,149 $1,403,719 $10,668,347

14.4     ‘Rollover’ of allocations held in trust

We hold allocations to rightsholders (who may or may not be members) in trust. Most licence fees are allocated using data from surveys of statistical samples of licensees. These allocations do not represent payment per use, but rather distribution of licence fees in accordance with the best data available.[102]

An allocation that has not been paid to a rightsholder after four years is ‘rolled over’. The Board determines how funds rolled over are applied for the benefit of members.[103]

Most of the allocations rolled over in 2015­–16 were to rightsholders that we were unable to identify, or unable to contact. We have reviewed our processes in recent years so that these allocations are vastly reduced, and future rollovers will also be reduced.

14.5     Total allocated and rolled over

Education Government Other Total
Allocated 2011–12 $86.30m $26.73m $19.88m $132.91m
Paid $83.94m $25.42m $19.34m $128.70m
Rolled over (not paid) $2.36m $1.31m $0.54m $4.21m
Rollover as % of total allocated 2.7% 4.9% 2.7% 3.2%

14.6     Reasons allocation not paid

Education Government Other Total
Allocated to member but not claimed $0.81m $0.57m $0.22m $1.60m
Work identified: rightsholder unknown $0.36m $0.23m $0.13m $0.72m
Rightsholder identified, but not contacted or did not join $1.04m $0.32m $0.14m $1.51m
Very small aggregate amount allocated to rightsholder $0.02m $0.09m $0.03m $0.15m
Foreign recipients: no agreement with foreign collecting society $0.13m $0.09m $0.01m $0.24m
Total $2.36m $1.31m $0.54m $4.21m


14.7     Distribution timeline

The charts below show the time between receipt and distribution of licence fees for schools for the 2016 calendar year, and universities for the 2015–16 financial year. There was one major distribution of licence fees from schools and two for universities.

Licence fees from schools were allocated to rightsholders in May 2016, and licence fees from universities were allocated to rightsholders in in November 2015 and May 2016.

Nearly all the licence fees from schools were received between mid-February and mid-May. Nearly all those licence fees had been paid to recipients by mid June.

The licence fees from universities allocated to rightsholders in December 2015 were mostly paid by mid-December 2015, and nearly all paid by mid-February 2016.

Similarly, the licence fees from universities allocated to rightsholders in May 2016 were nearly all paid by mid-June 2016.

14.10    Distributions and trust fund balance 2012–16


Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Distributed ($m) 141.6 90.7 103.3 136.6 115.5
Trust fund balance at 30 June ($m) 79.7 44.2 57.8 48.34 47.64

15.   Operating costs

Our administrative costs are met from licence fees.[104] For most licence schemes, we deduct actual operating costs rather than a fixed commission.[105] Deductions therefore vary from year to year, and from licence scheme to licence scheme. The Constitution also allows a deduction of up to 1.5% of revenue for support of cultural projects (the Cultural Fund).[106]

Copyright Agency’s Board must approve the company’s annual operating budget. Any proposed changes to directors’ remuneration must be approved by members at a general meeting. The largest component of operating costs is salaries.

For the past five years, total operating costs have been around 14% of total revenue.

15.1      Operating costs in 2015–16

  • Operating costs: $19.3m[107]
  • Licence fee revenue and net investment income recognised: $139.0m[108]
  • Expenses as proportion of licence fee revenue and net investment income: 13.9%
Cost $’000
personnel $12,813
general administration $3,477
surveys $1,190
corporate relations $442
other external services $739
legal fees $296
international $315
TOTAL $19,272


15.2     Expenditure to revenue ratio

The following represents our total expenditure as a proportion of our total revenue in 2015–16.

year 2011–12 2012–13 2013–14 2014–15 2015–16
percentage 14.2% 13.9% 14.3% 13.6% 13.9%


15.3     Staff remuneration and performance

All employees have a position description outlining the responsibilities and key competencies required for their role. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are set each financial year and cascaded down from the senior management team to ensure alignment with the business requirements. They are then reviewed and agreed upon by employees with their manager, and performance objectives and targets are determined.

Our employees have one formal performance review each year, during which an individual’s performance is reviewed against the agreed objectives. Recommendations for annual remuneration are based on:

  • the assessment of each employee’s performance against those objectives;
  • benchmarking against similar positions in comparable organisations;
  • overall company performance; and
  • market and economic conditions.

In assessing appropriate employee remuneration, we employ the services of independent consultants who analyse relevant market data such as salary reports, and also assess the relative positions of roles and compare them to similar roles in other organisations. We use the results of this job evaluation system and other external salary benchmarks such as:

  • market salary comparison for each job position, based on assessment against external salary reports;
  • annual Consumer Price Index; and
  • other sources of direct market comparison, such as job advertisements.

Final decisions regarding remuneration are made after considering managers’ recommendations, external benchmarks and environment, salary relativities within the company and our financial capacity.

15.4     Staffing in 2015–16

  • In 2015–16, employee benefits expense was 9% of total revenue (64% of our operating costs)
  • Staffing levels vary from time to time in accordance with requirements
  • Staff include full-time employees, part-time employees and contractors
  • In 2015–16, staffing levels ranged from 91.5 full-time equivalent (FTE) to 104.5 FTE
  • At 30 June 2016, there were 91.5 FTE staff
  • As at 30 June 2016, the median remuneration (including superannuation) for all staff was $93,413.

Staff remuneration greater than $100,000 as at 30 June 2016 was as follows:

Remuneration range* $100–149k $150–199k $200–249k $250–299k $300–349k $350+
Staff in range 2015–16 29 6 3 1 1 1
*includes superannuation but not incentive payments


16.   Members

Membership of Copyright Agency is free.  Anyone with a copyright interest in a ‘work’ can apply for membership.[109] Applications for membership are approved by the Board

There are three classes of membership: ‘author’, ‘publisher’ and ‘collecting society’.[110] Content creators can apply for membership online.[111] People can choose to be a member solely for entitlement to any statutory licence compensation allocated for use of their works, or they can choose to also authorise Copyright Agency to license reproduction and communication of their works.

For a number of reasons, we only make payments to members, but our systems enable payment to new members for past usage recorded in surveys of usage.

Payments can be made to a content creator indirectly via a member: unless we have verified information about the ‘payment shares’ for a work, a recipient of a payment must undertake any amounts due to others (e.g. a publisher to authors).

16.1      Members at 30 June 2016

Member type Number
Creator[112] 21,823
Publisher 8,222
Creator/Publisher 388
Collecting Society 29
Total 30,462

16.2     Members 2010–16

Year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016
Number of members 15,612 19,417 23,894 26,732 28,375 29,539 29,539


16.3     Member survey results

Members of Copyright Agency and Viscopy were surveyed in between April and June 2016 regarding their satisfaction with member services. The first group surveyed were members who had received a payment in the last two years. The second group surveyed were members who had not received a payment in the last two years.

About 2,800 members responded.

Of the members who had received a payment in the last two years, 83% were very or quite satisfied with member services, and 15% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.  Of the members who had not received a payment in the last two years, 62% were very or quite satisfied with member services, and 32% were neither satisfied nor dissatisfied.

16.4     Member enquiries

The Member Services team answered 13,577 enquiries in 2015–16, mostly from members:

2015 2016 total
Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun  
phone 352 234 262 191 182 282 236 172 248 191 174 796 3,320
email 1,063 707 766 444 532 660 860 998 654 987 1,189 1,397 10,257
total 1,415 941 1,028 635 714 942 1,096 1,170 902 1,178 1,363 2,93 13,577


17.    International agreements and engagement

The ‘voluntary’ licences offered by Copyright Agency and Viscopy are dependent upon the authorisation given by members to license their content, and the authorisation of foreign content creators through their copyright management organisations (CMOs). Copyright Agency and Viscopy therefore have agreements with foreign CMOs that enable us to include foreign works in Australian licences, and foreign CMOs to include Australian works in their licences. The maintenance of those agreements requires active management, affected by a range of external developments including changes in regulatory frameworks and business practices.

Both Copyright Agency and Viscopy also seek to extend their mandate through arrangements with organisations representing rightsholders in countries not yet covered in our mandates. This often requires assistance to those organisations to get established and begin operations, particularly in developing countries.

Establishing arrangements with ASEAN countries is an important area of focus. International engagement also involves services in other countries: for example, Viscopy represents foreign repertoire for New Zealand as well as Australia.

Copyright Agency and Viscopy are members of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO)[113] and the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).[114] Copyright Agency plays an active role on the IFRRO board and Committees.[115]

17.1      Developments in 2015–16

  • Chairing IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee and Legal Issues Forums
  • Participation in IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee meeting 31 Aug – 1 Sept 2015, Beijing, China
  • Series of meetings with partner CMOs including Copyright Clearance Center (CCC, US), CLA (Copyright Licensing Agency, UK), China Written Works Copyright Society (CWWCS), Korea Reproduction and Transmission Rights Association (KORRA), and Japan Academic Association for Copyright Clearance (JAC) to coincide with IFRRO Asia Pacific Committee (APC) meeting, as well as meeting with Cultural Officer, Australian Embassy Beijing.
  • Participation in IFRRO Annual World Congress, 8–12 November 2015, Mexico City, Mexico
  • Series of meetings with partner CMOs including CCC, CLA, Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA, UK), Publishers Licensing Society (PLS, UK) KORRA, JAC, KOPINOR (Norway) and Access Copyright (Canada) to coincide with IFRRO AGM.
  • Participation CISAC Asia Pacific Committee Meeting, 25 November 2016, Sydney – hosted by APRA AMCOS
  • Negotiations of South East Asian mandate agreements with foreign CMOs
  • Series of meetings in Singapore to support local CMO CLASS in establishing new licensing scheme (July 2015–May 2016)
  • Guest speaker at Regional Seminar on Building Awareness of the Notions and Functions of Copyright in Today’s Changing Environment, Singapore, April 29, 2016 (TAG of Excellence Regional Consultations)
  • Guest speaker at Marshall Islands 2nd Heads of IP Office Conference for Pacific Island Countries, June 27–29 2016
  • Hosted visit from World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) Sub Regional Workshop Pacific Islands to Copyright Agency Viscopy offices
  • Participation in IFRRO mid-term meetings Brussels (1–2 June), CISAC General Assembly Meeting Paris (3 June), PDLN (Press Database and Licensing Network) Rome (6–7 June)
  • Series of meetings with partner CMOs across text, visual arts, and media sectors – including CCC, CLA, Bildkunst (visual arts society, Germany), Artists Rights Society (ARS, US), Picasso Estate, KORRA – to coincide with IFRRO, CISAC, and PDLN conferences.

18.   Policy and advocacy

We monitor and seek to influence policy developments that affect copyright-based compensation, licence fees and other income. We form policy positions in consultation with a range of stakeholders, including industry and professional bodies representing content creators.

We are a member of bodies that have a key advocacy role, such as the Australian Copyright Council. We seek to influence policy at the international level primarily through our membership of IFRRO.

18.1      Developments in 2015–16

The major development was an inquiry into intellectual property arrangements by the Productivity Commission, launched in August 2015. The inquiry involved initial consultations, an issues paper, a draft report, roundtables, public hearings and the final report (delivered to the government on 23 September 2016).

The other important development was a draft amendment bill with proposed changes for the education sector, libraries and people with disabilities (all of which had consensus support), together with a proposed expansion of the ‘safe harbour’ provisions for internet service providers to benefit other online providers (strongly opposed by content creators).

Internationally, copyright was under review in various countries, including by the US House Judiciary Committee, instigated by the US Copyright Office, and by the European Commission.

18.2     Submissions and representations in 2015–16

Engagement in policy and advocacy included:

  • Joint proposal with other copyright management organisations and education sector representations on simplifying the statutory licence for education (August 2015)
  • Position papers provided to the government on copyright protection for unpublished works, and preservation of manuscripts and other original works (August 2016)
  • Consultation with Productivity Commission on issues relevant to inquiry on intellectual property arrangements (August 2015)
  • Submission to Australian Law Reform Commission on Traditional Rights and Freedoms – Encroachments by Commonwealth Laws: Interim Report (September 2015)
  • Submission to Productivity Commission on Issues Paper (November 2015)
  • Consultation with Ernst and Young on costs and benefits of recommendations by Australian Law Reform Commission on fair use and fair dealing (February 2016)
  • Submission (with other industry bodies) to Productivity Commission annexing report by PwC Understanding the Costs and Benefits of Fair Use (February 2016)
  • Submission to Department of Communications and the Arts on draft Copyright Amendment (Disabilities and Other Measures) Bill (February 2016)
  • Submission to Joint Standing Committee on Treaties on Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement
  • Submission to Productivity Commission on Draft Report (June 2016)
  • Participation in Productivity Commission roundtable (June 2016)
  • Participation in Productivity Commission public hearings (June 2016)

19.   Stakeholder communication and engagement

Copyright Agency’s stakeholders include content creators, content users and the Australian government.

Content creator stakeholders include members of Copyright Agency and of Viscopy, potential members, professional organisations for content creators (such as Australian Society of Authors, Australian Publishers Association, Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance, National Association for the Visual Arts, and Australian Institute for Professional Photography), and international affiliates.

Content user stakeholders include people who use content under licences (e.g. teachers, government employees), professional associations for those users (such as teacher associations and unions), and people who negotiate licence fees and other arrangements for their sector (such as Copyright Advisory Group and Universities Australia).

Copyright Agency’s main stakeholder relationship with the Australian government is related to its appointments by the government to manage statutory schemes and the artists’ resale royalty scheme.

Copyright Agency also has a stakeholder relationship with the Australian government, and with State and Territory governments, in their capacity as licensees, and as owners of copyright.

Other important stakeholders include other copyright management organisations (such as Screenrights and APRA|AMCOS), and industry associations for content creators (such as those for music and film).

19.1      Developments in 2015–16

  • Creator Series author events held in Adelaide, Brisbane and Sydney
  • Regular meetings and presentations to staff and boards of key industry organisations
  • Meetings with various Departments and Ministers (Communications, Attorney General and Prime Minister’s Office) on copyright issues
  • A survey of all Copyright Agency and Viscopy members on member satisfaction
  • Fully digital Annual Review developed for Copyright Agency and Viscopy
  • Monthly eNews, Creative Licence, issued to members and other stakeholders
  • Engagement with stakeholders via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram
  • Media coverage of Copyright Agency activities and issues
  • Publication of Opinion pieces in media on copyright issues
  • Voice of the Artist event held during Vivid Sydney
  • Major sponsorship of Miles Franklin Literary Award
  • Literary agents briefed in Sydney and Melbourne
  • Training sessions about the Copyright Agency’s processes with members on request
  • Event at Parliament House at which Dominic Young (CEO Copyright Hub) and Scott Turow (writer and former Chair of US Authors Guild) spoke

20.  LearningField

LearningField is an online platform providing access to resources linked to the Australian curriculum and state curriculums.[116] It is an ‘all you can eat’ annual subscription, allowing use of all LearningField resources: more than 12,000 chapters from 800 textbooks.

LearningField is a collaboration between Copyright Agency and three founding publishers, and is open to other participating publishers.

20.1     Developments in 2015–16

  • Launch of new platform provided by VitalSource
  • Partnership with Schoolbox to enabled teachers to use LearningField content from within learning management systems
  • Integration of LearningField by SEQTA into its Teach product.
  • Increase in participating publishers from 9 to 13, including Wet Paper, English Teachers’ Association NSW, Association for the Teaching of English, Impact Publishing
  • Agreement renewed with founding publishers (Pearson, Oxford University Press and Cambridge University Press)

21.   Reading Australia

Reading Australia ( is a website to assist teaching and reading of Australian literature in Australian schools and universities. It was created by Copyright Agency, with funding from its Cultural Fund.

Reading Australia has been developed in partnership with the Australian Association for the Teaching of English, the Primary English Teaching Association Australia, the Australian Literacy Educators Association and the Association for the Study of Australian Literature, with funding from Copyright Agency’s Cultural Fund.

The website initially listed 200 books chosen by a panel from the Australian Society of Authors to celebrate the work of leading Australian writers and illustrators. There are now a further 70 titles, covering all genres and periods of Australia’s literary history.

There are now over 100 resources aimed at Foundation to Senior Secondary. The educational resources are designed to help teachers navigate Australian texts within the framework of the Australian Curriculum. Many of the secondary-level titles are also accompanied by essays written by eminent authors, academics and critics. The website also has video interviews with authors, including 10 created in partnership with ABC Splash.

Twenty titles have had AustLit trails created for them. These trails are curated collections of information covering the title’s context, themes, and more, as well as links to academic research and publications.

21.1      Developments in 2015–16

  • new online platform launched in July 2015
  • 70% increase in subscriber numbers from 3,673 to 6,246
  • new features include news fees, intuitive and filtered searches and better interfaces
  • opinion piece by David Malouf on Reading Australia, published in Sydney Morning Herald (July 2015)
  • 31 new children’s book titles
  • 77 new teacher resources for secondary students
  • 78 new essays for secondary schools
  • 39 new resources for primary schools
  • 2 new videos
  • 5 new essays for tertiary teaching
  • a partnership with University of Technology Sydney (UTS) called ‘Writers on Writers’, whereby contemporary authors (many who teach professional writing) are filmed interviewing authors they admire who are on the Reading Australia list
  • 10 interviews with Australian authors hosted on ABC Splash[117]
  • 3 Introduction to Reading Australia videos
  • Reading Australia BookPros (in partnership with Australian Society of Authors)[118]

22.  Governance and accountability

Copyright Agency and Viscopy are signatories to the Collecting Societies Code of Conduct.[119] Matters covered in the Code include governance and accountability, education and awareness, and complaints and disputes.

We report annually to the Code Reviewer on our compliance with the requirements of the Code, and the Code Reviewer’s report is published on our website.

In conjunction with the Government’s appointment of Copyright Agency to manage the statutory licence for education in 1990, the Attorney-General’s Department developed guidelines for collecting societies.[120]

Our Constitution (which reflects some of the requirements in the guidelines) is available from our website, as is our Corporate Governance Statement, Client Service Charter, Privacy Policy and profiles of board directors.

Our Complaints Procedure and Disputes Resolution Procedure are available on our website.

The Copyright Tribunal has powers to determine aspects of licensing arrangements, including compensation fees payable under statutory licences, and distribution arrangements.

22.1     Developments in 2015–16

  • Code Reviewer’s report on collecting societies’ compliance with the Code of Conduct in 2014–15 published
  • Code Reviewer’s supplementary report on triennial review of the text of the Code published[121]
  • Report to Code Reviewer on compliance with the Code of Conduct 2015–16




[4] Number of employees covered by Copyright Agency’s licensing agreements.

[5] There are also statutory licence schemes for people with disabilities (visual impairment and intellectual disability), which Copyright Agency is appointed by the Attorney General to manage. Copyright Agency’s board has decided not to seek any compensation under these schemes, and the government intends to replace the licence with an exception.

[6] From statutory and voluntary licences, but not the artists’ resale royalty scheme.

[7] Principally Screenrights (broadcast content), APRA|AMCOS (music compositions), and PPCA (recorded music).


[9] Report to Consider what Alterations are Desirable in the Copyright Law of the Commonwealth (the Spicer Report) (1959): this report preceded the introduction of the current Copyright Act 1968.

[10] Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), available at The legislation has been amended many times since 1968. Significant amendments include the ‘Digital Agenda’ amendments of 2000, and the introduction of ‘moral rights’ in 2000.

[11] Other forms of intellectual property include patents, trade marks and designs: see

[12] Creators have these rights in their work even if they do not own copyright.

[13] The primary copyright treaty, the Berne Convention, provides that parties are not required to have an artists’ resale right, but that if they do they must provide reciprocity to nationals of other countries that have the right. In Australia, the right is granted by the Resale Royalty Right for Visual Artists Act 2009 (Cth), overseen by the Minister for the Arts. One of the key arguments for the right is that it benefits ‘fine artists’ who receive fewer benefits from the copyright system than other creators (such as writers and composers) whose work is primarily created for copying and communication rather than the value of the ‘original’ version.


[15] Australia is party to a number of treaties, such as the Berne Convention administered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) and the Agreement on Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS), administered by the World Trade Organization (WTO). Australia is also party to a number of bilateral and other agreements that affect copyright, such as the Australia–US Free Trade Agreement.

[16] For an overview of all the statutory licences, see Ricketson & Creswell, The Law of Intellectual Property: Copyright Designs & Confidential Information at [12.0]ff.

[17] Ricketson & Creswell, The Law of Intellectual Property: Copyright Designs & Confidential Information at [12.0].

[18] For example, the use of print music in schools is mostly done under the AMCOS print music licence ( rather than the statutory licence, because it allows the copying of entire works that are available for purchase (provided the school purchases the requisite number of originals), though the statutory licence remains available to schools for uses not covered by the AMCOS agreement.

[19] Copyright Agency is also declared as the collecting society for people with disabilities, but decided not to seek any compensation under the scheme, and the government intends to replace the statutory licence scheme with an exception:
Copyright Agency was ‘declared’ by the Attorney General in 1990 as the collecting society for the statutory licences for education and people with disabilities in Part VB of the Copyright Act, and by the Copyright Tribunal in 1998 as the collecting society for government copies of ‘works’ and ‘published editions’.

[20] Report of the Copyright Law Committee on Reprographic Reproduction (AGPS, Canberra, 1976), known as the Franki Report.

[21] By the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act 2000 (Cth).

[22] The Guidelines and Constitution are available at

[23] Report of the  Committee Appointed by the Attorney-General of the Commonwealth to Consider what Alterations are Desirable in the Copyright Law of the Commonwealth (1959), known as the Spicer Report, at [404]

[24] The statutory licence in section 183 of the Act allows the Commonwealth, States and Territories to use any copyright material for the services of the Crown. The amendments empowered the Copyright Tribunal to appoint (‘declare’) collecting societies to manage ‘government copies’. Copyright Agency was declared as the collecting society in relation to ‘works’ (other than those embodied in films and sound recordings) and ‘published editions’ in 1998. Screenrights is the declared society for broadcast content. For uses that are not ‘government copies’ managed by a declared collecting society, the government must (unless it is contrary to the public interest) notify the copyright owner and either agree terms with the copyright owner, or have terms determined by the Copyright Tribunal. The legislation does not empower the Tribunal to declare a collecting society in relation to ‘communications’ made under the statutory licence, but Copyright Agency operates as agent for its members by accepting notification and negotiating terms.

[25] Some other countries have provision for ‘extended collective licensing’, which is similar to statutory licensing but allows a copyright owner to ‘opt out’. This form of licensing originated in Scandinavian countries, and has recently been introduced in the UK. It is also under consideration in the US.

[26] The table represents licence fees payable for the 2015–16 financial year, rather than received in that period. Does not include fee paid by Viscopy under services agreement with Copyright Agency.

[27] The licence fees from states and territories recognised for 2015–16 reflects adjustments for licence fees expected for previous years that have not been received in full and are now note expected to be received.

[28] Includes voluntary licences for quasi-government entities ($116,910 in 2015–16)

[29] The current statutory licence, in Part VB of the Copyright Act, came into operation in 1990. It replaced the former statutory licence provisions in section 53B, introduced in 1980. The statutory licence was extended to digital uses in 2000, by the Copyright Amendment (Digital Agenda) Act.

[30] There are also arrangements for use of music in schools and universities through the music collecting societies, APRA|AMCOS and PPCA.

[31] CAG represents schools on copyright matters to the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Education Council. CAG is assisted by the National Copyright Unit (NCU), based in the NSW Department of Education.

[32] Since 2006, Victorian TAFEs have been represented by their own self-funded association, Victorian TAFE Association (VTA).

[34] National Report on Schooling in Australia 2013,

[35] Currently AMR. There are different arrangements with the TAFE sector and individually licensed institutions. Recent distributions of licence fees from those sectors have largely been based on ‘indicative’ rather than survey data.

[36] This is partly in recognition that the teachers completing the surveys would have difficulty determining whether a particular use is made in reliance on the statutory licence or not. Uses not made in reliance on the statutory licence are identified by Copyright Agency’s researchers, following protocols agreed with education sector representatives.

[37] This does not necessarily mean that the work used is a ‘orphan work’: it means that insufficient information has been provided to enable us to identify its copyright owner.


[39] In accordance with protocols agreed with the sector: For example, content covered by a Creative Commons licence, a licence that allows free use by schools, or a licence (such as a subscription licence) that allows the use.

[40] A ‘page’ is a ‘unit’ of content that has been copied or shared, such as a page from a book, an image, or a page printed from a website.

[41] Taking into account the two-year cycle of states and territories.

[42] E.g. because the content is not protected by copyright; because part used is not ‘substantial’; because the use is covered by a free exception.

[43] Such as from a website with terms of use that allow ‘non-commercial use’.

[44] unless we have been instructed by the relevant agency not to exclude it

[45] ‘Blackline masters’ are workbooks sold with a licence to the purchaser to photocopy. Survey records do not indicate whether or not the recorded use was covered by the licence.

[46] Such as the TV guides at issue in the High Court decision in Ice TV

[47] The lists were compiled from data provided by the schools that participated in surveys of usage from 2011 to mid-2016. From this data we extracted records that related to publications for which we could identify an ISBN (International Standard Book Number) or ISSN (International Standard Serial Number). We then counted the number of schools in which each book and periodical was copied, but not the number of pages copied, or the number of copies made, both of which are taken into account for distribution of licence fees.


[49] The statutory licence is in Part VII Division 2 of the Copyright Act

[50] Screenrights is similarly declared for broadcast content.

[51] The legislation does not enable the Tribunal to ‘declare’ Copyright Agency for communication, only for ‘government copies’. Copyright Agency has asked the Australian Law Reform Commission to recommend amendment to the legislation to enable declaration for communication.

[52] See

[53] Marrakesh Treaty to Facilitate Access to Published Works for Persons Who Are Blind, Visually Impaired or Otherwise Print Disabled





[58] The current per-employee rate for State governments is about $11. In the Commonwealth, there is a lower rate for large departments and a higher rate for small departments, but the overall average is equivalent to that paid by the States.




[62] Results available at



[65] Royalties are paid to successors in title after an artist’s death. The legislation allows for the scheme to be extended to artists and successors in title from other countries with similar schemes, by listing those countries in regulations. At the time of writing, no countries were listed.

[66] Resales for $1,000 or more.

[67] All resales must be reported, and Copyright Agency determines which resales are subject to a royalty. A royalty is not payable if the artwork was acquired by the vendor before the commencement of the scheme. Other reasons for a royalty not being payable are: the artist is not an Australian national or resident, and (if the artist has died), there are no beneficiaries with the requisite connection to Australia.

[68] In some cases artists elect to receive payment directly from the art market professional and in some cases artists decline payment for particular resales (e.g. charity auctions).


[70] One-page information sheets linked to distribution schedule webpage; webpages with information on payment summaries and spreadsheets accompanying distributions.

[71] Includes downloaded documents, such as reports and images.

[72] Includes sources such as information sheets, content from CD-ROMs, posters, previous years’ exam papers, student theses from other universities.

[73] Based on allocations of licence fees, a small proportion of which was paid in the 2016–17 financial year. Most recipients give an undertaking to on-pay any amounts due to others, so the number of ultimate recipients exceeds the number of initial payees.

[74] Including educational publishers in the private sector, educational writers and illustrators, and other bodies that create resources specifically for the education sector, such as teacher associations.

[75] Including journal publishers and contributors, trade publishers and authors, artists, print media and film/tv companies

[76] Including cultural institutions, arts organisations, community groups, charities, religious organisations, health and  disability organisations, special interest associations, industry groups, professional associations, sporting groups

[77] Including colleges, universities and TAFEs

[78] Including government departments and agencies, and local government.

[79] Includes recipients of small payments that we have not categorised

[80] Includes fees paid for sale of survey plans by NSW and Queensland since 2002.

[81] Such as authors with a contractual entitlement.

[82] In accordance with notified payment shares (information we have received from members about contractual arrangements for sharing Copyright Agency payments).

[83] Most recipients give an undertaking to on-pay any amounts due to others, so the number of ultimate recipients exceeds the number of initial payees.

[84] Including educational publishers in the private sector, educational writers and illustrators, and other bodies that create resources specifically for the education sector, such as teacher associations.

[85] Including journal publishers and contributors, trade publishers and authors, artists, print media and film/tv companies

[86] Including cultural institutions, arts organisations, community groups, charities, religious organisations, health and  disability organisations, special interest associations, industry groups, professional associations, sporting groups

[87] Including colleges, universities and TAFEs

[88] Including government departments and agencies, and local government.

[89] Includes recipients of small payments that we have not categorised

[90] Including Australian collecting societies.

[91] Some of these recipients will have shared payments with others, including co-authors and publishers.

[92] Unique recipients: 131 individuals received direct payments from both schools and universities licence fees.

[93] We had regard to the Attorney-General’s Department’s guidelines for declared collecting societies (2001) in determining the approach to the distribution.

[94] There were 432 unique recipients from all the surveyors’ distributions for 2015–16 (that is, many recipients received payments from both the retrospective payments and current licences).

[95] Distribution included some licence fees from quasi-government organisations and religious organisations.

[96] The deduction does not apply to artists’ resale royalties.





[101] Provision for operating costs: $893,225; Future Fund (see Note 14 in Notes to Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2016): $15,461,816; Indemnity Fund: $2.5m; provision for indemnity in commercial licence fees: $444,197; other: $24,949.

[102] Not every survey record provides information suitable for distribution. For example, a survey record may show that a use occurred in reliance on a licence, but not sufficient information to identify a rightsholder.

[103] See Note 14 in Notes to Financial Statements for the year ended 30 June 2016 for amounts rolled over in 2015–16.

[104] In accordance with the Copyright Act, the Copyright Regulations, the Attorney-General’s Guidelines and Copyright Agency’s Constitution.

[105] There is a fixed commission from some of the commercial licence schemes.

[106] Deductions are not made from artists’ resale royalties or LearningField subscriptions.

[107] Does not include expenses associated with Viscopy services agreement.

[108] Does not include fee paid by Viscopy under services agreement with Copyright Agency.

[109] ‘Work’ has the same meaning as that in the Copyright Act. It includes text works, still images and print music. Some owners of copyright are ‘indirect’ members through their membership of Viscopy and AMCOS (who are collecting society members of Copyright Agency). Membership is open to owners of copyright, their agents and licensees.

[110] A member can be both an author and a publisher member. The class of membership determines voting entitlements for the two elected members of the board: the elected ‘author’ and the elected ‘publisher’ director.


[112] 1,396 are also members of Viscopy.



[115] In 2015­–16, Jim Alexander was Vice President of the IFRRO Board, chair of the Education and Enforcement Task Force. Caroline Morgan chaired the Asia-Pacific Committee and the Legal Issues Forum. Karen Pitt was a member of the Nominating and Asia-Pacific Committees. Jim, Caroline and Karen were also members of the Newspaper and Periodicals Working Group and the Visual Arts Working Group.




[119] The Code is available at

[120] There are links to the declaration and guidelines at


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