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Frequently Asked Questions

Using television and radio

  • The licence lets you copy radio, television and cable programmes, and make further copies of these original copies. Entire programmes or excerpts may be copied. You can also copy AV material legally available online – such as podcasts, vodcasts and programmes from the Internet (if you are at a university, there is a limit to the type of radio material that can be copied from the internet. Please seek advise from your copyright officer). The licence does not apply to the copying of pre-recorded material, such as bought or hired videos. Copying this material without permission from the copyright owner may infringe copyright.

    The Screenrights licence is versatile and flexible. You can copy:

    • Any programme – movies, documentaries, Maori language programmes, new and current affairs
    • Anywhere – make copies at home or in your library
    • From any channel – pay or free to air
    • AV material legally available online – download podcasts, vodcasts or programmes from the Internet (if you are at a university, please note that you may need to seek further advice about this)
    • In any format – copy onto VHS, DVD, a hard drive or a content management system
    • From old copies – update your old copies into digital format to use in teaching or keep in the library as a resource.

    You can also use a content management system, such as eTV and Clickview, to store and play copies.

  • Showing a film as part of teaching does not require permission from the copyright owner, but other screenings outside your immediate family and private home is, in copyright terms, a performance in public. This requires the permission of the copyright owners. Examples of this sort of use include:

    film societies

    fundraising film nights

    on bus or coaches

    entertaining the kids at school or in a library on a rainy day.


    In industry terms this is called a "non-theatric exhibition", and there are two companies which can rent you a copy of a film with the permission to perform it in public included. They are: Roadshow Film Distributors, Tel, +61 2 9552 8600 and Amalgamated Movies Tel, +61 2 07 4787 1086. These companies distribute to New Zealand. Please call them on the Australian telephone numbers above. The two companies have different catalogues of films. So if one company doesn't have the movie you want, then the other may.

  • All copies that are made under the licence must be labeled with the name of the institution for which the copy was made, the title of the programme, the date of the broadcast and the date on which the copy was made, if different. For example:

  • You can keep copies in the library, either as DVDs or VHS tapes, or stored on an intranet or content management system. Copies can also be embedded in online course notes, played to students in a class or lecture, or delivered to students online, both at home or in the institution.

  • Under the Screenrights licence and the Copyright Act, copying must only be for the educational purposes of the institution making the copy. This includes, for example, making the copy in connection with a course or class, or for inclusion in the library.

The Screenrights Licence

  • Screenrights distributes all the money it collects to the rightsholders in the programmes you copy after the deduction of our administrative overheads only.

  • Under the New Zealand Copyright Act, educational institutions that don't have a Screenrights licence may infringe copyright if they copy any programmes covered by the agreement. Failure to get a Screenrights licence therefore means that you will miss out on a comprehensive right to record from radio and television and to download audiovisual material online. If you do not have a Screenrights licence, you also cannot make full use of digital content management systems such as eTV and Clickview.

  • If you do not have a current Screenrights copying licence, contact licensing at Screenrights. If you work at a school, you can also obtain a licence through the STA. Once you get a Screenrights licence, you are also automatically entitled to receive a free weekly educational television guide.

  • To find out whether your institution has a current Screenrights licence, contact licensing at Screenrights