Copyright Agreements

Copyright Act 1968

The State Government copies material that is subject to copyright, such as publications and broadcasts, as it undertakes day-to-day business.

The Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows governments to use copyrighted material for the services of government without infringing the Act if it pays equitable remuneration to the appropriate declared collecting society. 

Collecting societies are declared pursuant to section 153F of the Act.  Section 183 of the Act requires that equitable remuneration must be calculated using a method agreed on by the collecting society and government, such as a sampling survey.

Payment to collecting societies negates the need for governments to negotiate directly with individual copyright owners.  In addition, the collecting society bears the administrative burden of identifying copyright owners and the distribution of remuneration.

The South Australian government has, or has had, dealings with three collecting societies:

  • Copyright Agency (CAL) for print and electronic publications;
  • Screenrights for radio and television broadcasts; and
  • Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) for the performance of music.

Role of State Records

Since 2001, State Records has represented the South Australian government in national negotiations on agreements with collecting societies, coordinated sampling surveys and recommended and facilitated payment of the state's copyright liability.  In addition, State Records provides expert policy advice on copyright agreements; liaises with copyright counterparts in other jurisdictions; and maintains relationships with collecting societies.

Decentralised Billing

In 2015, the South Australian government approved the establishment of a direct billing model.  The purpose of this model was to require agencies to meet their own copyright liabilities.  Direct billing allows agencies to be invoiced directly by declared collecting societies but for the relationship with those societies to remain centrally managed by State Records and the Attorney-General's Department.

Agencies will receive direct invoices from Copyright Agency Limited and Screenrights. 

Copyright Agency Limited

In April 2016 a remuneration agreement was reached between CAL and the state government on a rate of $7.30 per full-time equivalent staff member (FTE) with no CPI increase for the 2015/16 financial year. 

The first cycle of agency direct billing was undertaken in May 2016 for liabilities accrued during the 2015/16 financial year.  Remuneration is calculated by multiplying the agreed remuneration rate by the number of FTE staff the agency employs.  FTE numbers are taken from workforce information published by the South Australian Office of the Public Sector.

The remuneration rate has continued at $7.30 per FTE for 2016/17, 2017/18 and 2018/19.  GST is not payable on these invoices.


The agreement between the South Australian government and the Audio-visual Copyright Society Limited (Screenrights) expired on 30 June 2016, but continues for successive one year periods until either party gives notice to the other of its termination effective on the next succeeding 30 June.

Invoicing for Screenrights occurs mid year after the conclusion of the previous year's billing cycle and is calculated by multiplying the remuneration rate by the number of FTE staff the agency employs.  FTE numbers are taken from workforce information published by the South Australia's Office of the Public Sector.

Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA)

In 2004 the government entered into a licence agreement with APRA.  This agreement allowed agencies to use recorded music or broadcast radio or television in public spaces or on the telephone for the services of government. South Australian government agencies continue to be covered by the 2004 agreement from 1 July 2017 onwards.

Since 2017/18 centralised payment has been made by Arts SA on behalf of all agencies subject to the agreement.  The rate is calculated by multiplying the remuneration rate by the number of FTE staff the agency employs.  FTE numbers were taken from workforce information published by South Australia's Office of the Public Sector.

As there is a whole of government agreement in place, South Australian government agencies should not enter into individual agreements between themselves and APRA.

Further Information

State Records of South Australia

GPO Box 464

Phone - 8204 8786
Email -





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