Commonwealth Government Licences

The Copyright Act enables Commonwealth, State and Territory Governments (the Crown), and persons authorised in writing by the Crown, to make an unlimited number of uses of copyright material for the services of government.

This is known as the Statutory Government Licence.

Commonwealth, State and Territory government departments and agencies are eligible to copy and communicate under the Statutory Government Licence provided the activity is for the services of the Commonwealth or State. By providing this licence for government, the Copyright Act aims to balance the copying needs of government in Australia with the rights of authors and other creators to earn a living.

The Copyright Agency provides these government agencies or departments with an indemnity to ensure they are protected against legal proceedings by having pre-determined terms for the use of copyright material. Additionally, since the Copyright Agency has been declared by the Copyright Tribunal as the collecting society for government copies of works and published editions of works, government departments and agencies are no longer required to notify copyright owners of use when they have entered into an agreement with the Copyright Agency.


Commonwealth, State and Territory government departments and agencies may make unlimited uses of any amount of copyright material for the services of government.

This means unlimited reproductions, adaptations, and communications – essentially any act normally the exclusive right of the copyright owner. This is outlined in section 183 of the Copyright Act. There are different collecting societies that deal with the different mediums of works. APRA AMCOS deal with music and Screenrights with television and radio.

The Copyright Agency and government departments and agencies conduct surveys to determine usage of copyright material to enable royalty payments to copyright owners. These surveys are conducted periodically in different government departments and agencies around Australia to ensure a fair representation of copyright data collected.

Are you licensed?

View a list of Commonwealth departments and agencies that have an agreement with Copyright Agency


If your department or agency is not listed and you think you are eligible for the Statutory Government Licence, please contact our Government licensing team on 1800 066 844 (within Australia) or +61 2 9394 7600 or email to find out who your government representative is, so that you may be added to the agreement.


Share Tweet