Value of Ideas

The ideas expressed by our members help shape conversations and debate in our society.

Frequently Asked Questions

Becoming a member

  • If you hold the right to copy, communicate or retransmit any or all of the copyright materials in a program you are entitled to become a member of Screenrights. Membership is free.

    You should join Screenrights if you can claim educational, government and/or retransmission royalties for any or all of the copyright materials in a program. If your program is broadcast on television in Australia or New Zealand, we recommends you become a member and register your programs.
     

  • Our members are rightsholders in film and television programs, including producers, directors, scriptwriters, artists, production companies, distributors, sales agents, commercial collection agents, broadcasters and other collecting societies.

  • When you become a member of Screenrights, the name on the Membership Application must be the person or legal entity that owns or controls the rights in your programs.

  • No. Membership is free. If you receive an allocation of royalties, we apply an administration fee to recover our costs at the point of payment.

  • Your membership details and any information on royalties earned are kept in confidence. This information is only available to authorised Screenrights employees.

    However, if your project is funded by a funding body Screenrights may report royalty payments for that title to the funding body. As the funding agencies are owners of copyright in the programs, they are entitled to receive information as to the royalties collected.
     

  • Yes. If the name of the member has been legally changed then you will need to update your member name. Simply inform Screenrights in writing of the name change and provide a copy of the Certificate of Name Change (or international equivalent).

    If your company has merged to form a new company, the new legal entity will need to become a member of Screenrights and you will need to provide a letter with instructions to transfer any registrations to the new membership.

  • You will only need to resign your membership if your company has been delisted. To resign your membership you will need to write a letter to the Secretary of Screenrights clearly stating the entity that is resigning.

  • If you are a Screenrights member and you no longer hold rights in any titles, or if your company has ceased trading or you wish to resign your membership for any other, you can do so by submitting a request to resign your membership on company letterhead to The Secretary, Screenrights.

Registering a program

  • Screenrights recommends you register your program if it is broadcast on television in Australia or New Zealand, You should check your contracts to determine whether you can claim Screenrights' royalties.

    Screenrights can also collect royalties from around the world on your behalf. If your program has been broadcast outside of Australia and New Zealand, royalties may be collected for retransmission, private copying, other copying, public lending and public performance. You can go global with Screenrights International by selecting this option when you register.

  • There are a number of options available to register your programs. If you have a small number of programs to register we recommend registering via My Screenrights or completing our registration forms.  If you have lots of programs, talk to Member Services about your bulk electronic registration options.

  • Under Australian and New Zealand law, rights are transferable. You should check your contracts. In most cases it will be clear from your contracts if you can claim any or all of the royalties – if not, we recommend that you seek legal advice.

  • You can amend your registrations via My Screenrights. Alternatively, you may request a report to update your registrations by contacting Member Services.

    Screenrights recommends reviewing your registrations with the Member Services team to ensure that your programs are registered for all types of royalties that you are entitled to collect.
     

  • Film and television programs contain a number of separate copyright materials including the visual images and associated sounds, the screenplay or narration, and other material incorporated in the film such as the music, sound recordings and artistic works.

    When a film or television program is copied, communicated or retransmitted under the royalty collection services, there are royalties for each of the separate copyright materials.

    By indicating a claim to a copyright material, you are warranting to Screenrights that you own or control the right to claim royalties for that specific copyright material incorporated in the program.

  • If you have an extensive catalogue of programs to register with Screenrights, contact the Member Services team to discuss your bulk electronic registration options.

  • You can view your registrations via My Screenrights. Alternatively, you may request a report detailing your registrations by contacting Member Services.

  • If you no longer hold any rights in a program that you have registered with Screenrights, or if you registered the program in error, then you should withdraw your registration. You can do so via My Screenrights or by contacting our Member Services team.

  • If you no longer hold some rights in a program that you have registered with Screenrights, then you should withdraw those rights. You can do so via My Screenrights or by contacting our Member Services team.

Royalty collection

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    EnhanceTV Direct is an archive of programs made available “on demand” to educational institutions via a web-based streaming service. 

    All copying and communication carried out by EnhanceTV Direct will result in royalties being paid under the Screenrights distribution policy. Refer to the overview for more information on how royalties are paid – and make sure your program is registered to ensure quick payment of royalties.

     

     

     

  • Screenrights is the source society for Australia and New Zealand educational copying, Australian and New Zealand educational communication, Australian government copying and Australian retransmission royalties.

    If you choose to go global with Screenrights International, we can collect retransmission, private and educational copying, public lending and public performance on your behalf.
     

  • No, under the law in Australia and New Zealand it is not infringement. The Australian and New Zealand Copyright Acts allow educational institutions to copy from television and radio broadcasts for educational purposes, provided they pay a licence fee. Screenrights collects the licence fees and distributes royalties to the rightsholders for the use of their programs. Educational institutions can also communicate copies made from television and radio for educational purposes.

    In addition, Australian government departments are allowed to copy from television and radio broadcasts for government purposes, and the free to air networks are allowed to be retransmitted by another service, such as pay television. Screenrights also licenses the retransmission of free to air broadcasts on mobile phones and IPTV.
     

  • No. There are no royalties by virtue of the fact that a program is broadcast.
    Screenrights distributes royalties for educational copying and communication, government copying, private copying, public lending, public performance and retransmission under our royalty collection services. As the royalties are paid on usage, there is no guarantee that a broadcast will result in royalties being paid.

Payments

  • Screenrights pays royalties directly into a nominated bank account.

  • During 2010/11 Screenrights distributed a total of $30.8 million to its members.

  • There is no means by which to determine the amount of royalties you may receive for the use of your program. Royalties are determined by a number of factors including:

    • whether the program is copied, communicated or retransmitted;
    • the type of program;
    • the region or territory where the program is copied, communicated or retransmitted;
    • the duration of the copy, communication or retransmission;
    • the audience of the communication or retransmission;
    • the time of day of the retransmission;
    • the type of educational institution who made the copy or communication; and
    • the system used by the educational institution to record their copying and communication.
  • If your program accrues royalties, there is at least a 6-18 month delay before the royalties are available for distribution.

    Australian and New Zealand royalties are administered on an Australian financial year basis (July to June). Records of copying, communication and retransmission during that period are collated, audited and researched prior to the commencement of distribution in December of that year.

    Royalties from other territories are paid to Members upon receipt from the international collection societies. The delay between when the royalties are earned and paid is therefore dependent on the payment schedule of each international collecting society.

  • GST applies to Australian residents only. There is no GST on royalties because a royalty is not a good or a service. However, there is GST on Screenrights' administration fee, which is a service. The GST is calculated as 10% of the administration fee only.

  • RWT is payable on payments under the Australian royalty collection services to non-residents of Australia and payments under the New Zealand royalty collection services to non-residents of New Zealand. Most countries where our members are located have double taxation agreements where RWT is 5%, 10% or 15% depending on the country.  Where there is no double taxation agreement between the countries the rate of RWT is set at 30%.

  • As trustee of the money that it collects, Screenrights must ensure that the royalties are paid to the correct person or entity.

    We identify potential rightsholders in programs that have been copied, communicated and retransmitted by a variety of means, using:

    • an extensive database of registered programs or programs we have paid in the past (existing warranties by Members);
    • a range of external research databases;
    • supplier information from the broadcaster;
    • Internet research;
    • industry resources; and
    • industry knowledge.

    To claim royalties a rightsholder must join as a member and warrant to Screenrights that they are entitled to royalties for a program.  The member indemnifies Screenrights in the event that they claim royalties in error. Only then does Screenrights pay royalties.

    Screenrights has a policy for conflicts where more than one party makes a claim to a royalty. See More than one claim to royalties.