Collecting and distributing royalties

Copyright Agency collects and distributes copyright fees for the copying and sharing of text and images.

Copyright Agency is appointed by the Australian government to manage statutory licences for:

Copyright Agency also manages licences for other sectors including:


Licence fees are negotiated between Copyright Agency and individual licensees, or peak bodies representing a class of licensees (such as Universities Australia).

The basis of the fee varies depending on the type of licence. For example, some corporations pay based on the number of administrative or professional staff they employ, other fees are based on an estimate of the volume of use, and others are based on the number of students enrolled in an educational institution.

Most licence fees are paid annually, but some are paid on a different basis (e.g. quarterly).

Licence fees can be reviewed by the Copyright Tribunal.

Distribution of licence fees

Licence fees are held in trust pending receipt of data, and research, to enable distribution. There are many distributions throughout the year for copyright fees from different sources, based on different sources and types of data. See here for recent and future distributions. For information about the total amounts of copyright fees and collected each financial year, see annual reports here.

Distributions are done in accordance with our Distribution Policy.

Copyright Agency makes deductions for operating costs and the Cultural Fund.

Data used for distribution includes information about each use (‘full records’), surveys of samples of licensees (these occur in schools and universities), and information about material available for use by a class of licensees (‘indicative data’).

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Artist Profile

Anita Heiss

Writing and publishing

I want to create resources that encourage young Aboriginal people to read. I think it's important Aboriginal people today can see themselves in the Australian literary landscape.

Photo by Helen Kassila

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