Expert Decision Regarding the SPA-AWG 1999 Series and Serials Agreement

The SPA-AWG Series and Serials Agreement 1999 (1999 SASA) is an agreement between Screen Producers Australia (SPA) and the Australian Writers’ Guild (AWG), which came into effect on 1 July 1999 and was often used for series and serials that commenced  production in Australia from 1 July 1999 until 31 December 2007. The agreement was superseded by the SPA-AWG Series and Serials Agreement 2008 which came into effect on 1 January 2008.

Screenrights arranged for an independent expert to review the 1999 SASA to determine the question of which of the contracting parties is entitled to receive Screenrights’ royalties for the literary and dramatic work under the agreement: the producer or the writer.

The review was conducted by Mr Matthew Darke SC. AWG and SPA both made  submissions to Mr Darke.

Mr Darke determined that the 1999 SASA contains a reserved right to Statutory Royalties for the writer.

Based on the outcome of Mr Darke’s determination, Screenrights has introduced a new presumption under the Express Resolution Process (ERP) for the 1999 SASA, as follows:

Presumption 10. The industry agreed contract applies and therefore Statutory Royalties allocated for a script of a television series or serial that commenced production:

(a) on or after 1 July 1999; and

(b) on or before 31 December 2007 are payable to the writer/s of a script.

The Presumption does not apply to series and serials that commenced production prior to 1 July 1999 or subsequent to 31 December 2007.

Screenrights will review competing claims relating to Australian series or serials that commenced production on or after 1 July 1999 and on or before  31 December 2007 to identify if Presumption 10 may apply, and notify the parties that the ERP will be applied to assist in the resolution.

Contact us via if you have any questions about the rights or programs involved. Read more about Competing Claims Resolution and access the Competing Claims Resolution Policy (CCRP, including the ERP presumptions) here.

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