Copyright Agency collects licence fees for uses of content that would otherwise require a copyright clearance from a rightsholder.

If you are a rightsholder or creator, you can receive a payment if the use of your work is covered by a Copyright Agency commercial licence or the copying schemes (statutory licences) we manage for government and educational purposes.

To be entitled to receive a payment, you must:

  • have been a rightsholder since the work was created (be the first owner of copyright);
  • have become a rightsholder by acquiring rights;
  • have been appointed by the rightsholder as their agent to collect Copyright Agency payments on their behalf; or
  • have been allocated a payment by a foreign collecting society under its distribution policy.


You can acquire rights:

  • by a rightsholder assigning them to you in writing
  • by a rightsholder giving you an exclusive licence in writing
  • by inheritance (under a will or intestacy laws)

You are not automatically entitled to receive a payment merely because:

  • you published the work; and/or
  • the work was made for you

In most cases, your entitlement to claim will depend on whether you have acquired, in writing, the rights covered by Copyright Agency’s licences.

assigning RIGHTS

Copyright owners may assign or license rights to others. Assignment of copyright and licences can include a number of limitations and conditions. These can include limitations on the type of use that can be made of the work, the period of time for which a licence applies and requirements for payment.

how we distribute payments

All amounts received by the Copyright Agency after deduction of Copyright Agency’s costs and the 1.5% allocation to the Cultural Fund are available for distribution to members. The Copyright Agency distributes the licence fees received under each scheme separately. It is done this way because the works used in each scheme can be different, so we keep them separate to be as fair and equitable as possible.

See more about how we calculate licence fees and distribute royalties and/or view our Distribution Policy.

If you’re a member and would like to see when the next round of payments will be made, see our Distribution Schedule.

Tax on your payments

Download our information sheet Tax on Copyright Agency payments.

our administration fees

As a not-for-profit organisation, the Copyright Agency funds its operations by deducting its costs from the licence fees received each year. Our deductions for administrative costs vary from licence scheme to licence scheme, and from distribution to distribution. For a small number of schemes, the deductions are fixed. For example, our administrative fee for the resale royalty scheme is 15% of royalties collected.
See more about our Administration Fees.

Creators connected online through sharing contact details.

receiving payments

To ensure you receive your notifications and any required actions for you to verify if you are entitled to receive Copyright Agency payments, you need to activate your online member account.

You can change the details of your nominated bank account via your online account.

To find out more about How to Verify a Work, see our Help Centre.

Sharing payments with others

In some cases, there may be more than one person who is entitled to a Copyright Agency payment. When members receive a payment, we also tell you if we have ‘Shares Advised’ on that payment. If there is a ‘No’ under the ‘Shares Advised’ column on payments, it means we have not been provided payment share information.

If we don’t have payment shares, and we know there are multiple rightsholders, we will request the publisher provides the share information via their online account, so we can pay everyone their share directly.

If publishers can’t provide payment shares, we will continue to pay the publisher to share the payment with all those who are entitled in accordance with their contracts.

In some cases, a payment does not need to be shared if it is owned or controlled by one entity. In these cases, you’ll see ‘N/A’ under ‘Shares Advised’ on your payments.

receiving a shared payment

If we have received payment share information, you will see a ‘Yes’ under ‘Shares Advised’ under your payments. The amount paid to you is your percentage share, as provided by publishers in accordance with your contracts. You can see your percentage share under your Works menu.

This means you do not need to share this payment.

excluded payments

In some cases, a member may not want to receive payments for certain works under the educational statutory licence. Please contact us so we can update your terms and conditions and exclude future payment for those titles.

Conversely, if a member wants to include their works under the 
licences we administer, log in to the Member Portal, go to your accounts menu from your profile at the top right, and select and ‘Licence Schemes’.

For more information, see ‘Understanding our licence schemes’

complaints and disputes

Complaints and disputes arise from time-to-time between members regarding who controls the rights in works and, consequently, to whom Copyright Agency should make payments to.

We are committed to fair and transparent dealings with our licensees and members so we’ve developed a complaints procedure. Our procedure complies with the requirements of Australian Standard 10002:2006, guidelines for complaints handling in organisations (the Standard). The procedure is administered in accordance with the Standard, and the Code of Conduct for Copyright Collecting Societies.

You can lodge a complaint if:

  • you are a member of Copyright Agency or
  • a licensee of Copyright Agency e.g. a school, university, corporation, TAFE, government department, document delivery service or local council.

See Compliments & Complaints.

Complaints that cannot be resolved through our Complaints Handling procedure may be resolved through our Dispute Resolution procedure.

The Copyright Agency’s Disputed Allocations Resolution Procedure (DARP) has been developed to assist Copyright Agency members when a dispute arises between members regarding a Copyright Agency allocation or payment. The Disputed Allocations Resolution Procedure aims to assist members to resolve disputes quickly. A dedicated Case Manager oversees all disputes between members and is available to guide members through the process. View the DARP here.


Copyright Agency relies on warranties from members that they are entitled to collect payment from Copyright Agency for particular titles. We can’t give advice about this. In some cases, rights arrangements such as publishing contracts can be ambiguous or unclear about entitlement to Copyright Agency payments. Members may need to seek their own advice.

This information is for guidance only. It is not legal advice.

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