In Australia, the Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) provides three statutory or compulsory licences. Statutory licences (or statutory exclusions from infringement) allow certain uses of copyright material, without the permission of the rights holder, subject to the payment of equitable remuneration. The three statutory licences in Australia are:
- The Statutory Education Licence - there are two licences in the Act that apply to educational institutions. One allows the reproduction and communication of certain amounts of text, images and print music (which Copyright Agency has been appointed to manage). The other allows the reproduction and communication of television and radio broadcasts (which Screenrights has been appointed to manage);
- The Government Statutory Licence - The Commonwealth or a State or Territory government may use copyright material for the services of the government, without the permission of the copyright owner. Screenrights collects and distributes royalties for the government’s reproduction of material broadcast on television and radio, and Copyright Agency collects and distributes royalties for the government’s reproduction of text, images and print music;
- The Retransmission Statutory Licence – free to air broadcasts can be retransmitted by another service, such as pay television, provided they give a remuneration notice to Screenrights.
Each of these schemes ensures that creators are fairly rewarded for use of their work.
Similar schemes operate in other countries and through our extensive network of rights management organisations around the world, the Copyright Agency’s members may receive licence fees for the use of their work overseas.