Distribution Q&A

Here are some common questions about how we pay copyright fees to members.

Question Answer
How is data collected from educational institutions? Data is collected from teachers in a sample of schools and universities, who record information about what they have copied and shared for students.

For more, see Copyright Agency surveys in schools and universities.

How many educational institutions are included in the data collection process? Schools:

  • Photocopying, printing and scanning: 252 schools every 2 years
  • Electronic use: 100 schools each year


  • Photocopying: 6 universities each year
  • Electronic use: 8 universities each year

For more, see Copyright Agency surveys in schools and universities.

How much money is distributed each year? The total amounts distributed in recent years were:

  • 2017–18: $123.9m
  • 2016–17: $117.8m
  • 2015–16: $115.5m
  • 2014–15: $136.6m
  • 2013–14: $103m
What are the relative proportions paid overall to publishers, authors and illustrators respectively? A large proportion of our payments are made to recipients who share them with others. We don’t have comprehensive information about all the ultimate recipients of our payments.

In 2016, we requested information from recipients of copyright fees from schools and universities about how those payments were shared. Based on the information we received, we estimated that individual (non-staff) creators received about 39% of the copyright fees distributed.

See further 2016 annual report.

How much of the money collected cannot be distributed? We hold allocations to rightsholders in trust for four years. In June 2018, $620,000 of the allocations made in 2013–14 remained unpaid. That represented 0.6% of the total amount allocated in 2013–14. The unpaid amount was used to offset our deduction for anticipated operating costs.

There is more information in our annual reports about how copyright fees are collected and distributed.

See also:

2 December 2019

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