Agents and collecting societies join as members of Screenrights to claim and receive royalty payments on behalf of people and companies that have appointed them as agent to collect Screenrights royalties on their behalf.
Did that grab your attention? We hope so.
Screenrights royalty payments are made to rightsholders. Whether an agent is or is acting on behalf of a rightsholder or not will depend on Australian copyright law, the agency agreement and the title covered, and any preceding contracts in the chain of title. Keep reading to learn more.
Screenrights collects and pays secondary royalties from Australia and New Zealand. These royalties can range in value from a few cents to thousands of dollars.
See Royalty Payments to find out more about Screenrights royalties and the rights the agent needs to own or control to be entitled to receive them on behalf of its clients.
Getting it right from the start
The rights associated with collecting Screenrights royalties are transferable. Whether or not you own or control the right to receive Screenrights royalties today depends on the specific terms of the contracts entered into when the film, TV show, documentary or other screen project is made and the specific terms of any subsequent contracts such as distribution agreements.
Screenrights publishes sample contract clauses which highlights relevant legal issues to consider in order to get it right from the start. Of course, you should always seek advice from a qualified legal practitioner before signing any contract.
Some of the agreements directly relevant to an agent or collecting society acting as an agent that may deal with Screenrights royalties include:
- Collecting society membership agreement
- Agency appointment agreement
In addition to the appointment of agency, various other agreements that may have dealt with Screenrights royalties on a title-by-title basis include:
- Writer’s agreement
- Director’s agreement
- Co-production agreement
- Production and investment agreement
- Interparty agreement
- Broadcast licence agreement
- Distribution and/or sales agency agreement
- Agency appointment agreement
REGISTERING YOUR CLAIMS
Once an agent has determined that it is entitled to claim Screenrights royalties on a title-by-title basis, the agent needs to tell us about it by submitting registrations on MyScreenrights for the films, TV shows, documentaries or other screen projects on behalf of its clients.
Learn more about registering for royalties here.
PROVISION OF CLIENT LISTS
Agents are required to provide an up-to-date list of the clients they represent on an annual basis, and on request from Screenrights at any time. Screenrights can also request that an agent verify its agency at any time by providing documents to support their appointment broadly or in relation to specific titles, and can remove an agent’s registrations on behalf of any client where the agency appointment is not verified within a reasonable timeframe.
NEW CLIENTS AND DEPARTING CLIENTS
When an agent advises that it has commenced representing a new client, the agent must support this notice by providing a copy of the agency appointment agreement (or other similar relevant documentation) signed by the client they now represent.
When an agent ceases to represent a client, the agent must notify Screenrights immediately in writing.
CONFIRMATION BY PRINCIPAL
Where information comes to light that suggests that:
- an agent does not represent a particular client; or
- the client represented by the agent does not own or control the rights to receive Screenrights royalties,
Screenrights can request that the agent’s client (known as the ‘principal’) confirm both the agency appointment and the validity of the claims made on their behalf to Screenrights royalties, on a title-by-title basis.
Visit the Help Centre to learn more about the royalties we pay, registering your claims and timing of payments.