Producers and production companies join as members of Screenrights to claim and receive royalty payments, and can also access additional services.
Did that grab your attention? We hope so.
Similarly, there are no Screenrights royalties payable to writers or directors just because they wrote or directed a film, TV show, documentary or other screen project.
Screenrights royalty payments are made to rightsholders. Whether you are a rightsholder or not will depend on Australian copyright law and your contracts. You may be entitled to claim some Screenrights royalties, but not others. You may be able to claim all Screenrights royalties for all your films, TV shows, documentaries and other screen projects that you have made, or none at all. Keep reading to learn more.
Getting it right from the startThe 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 was made and the specific terms of any subsequent contracts such as distribution agreements. Screenrights publishes sample contract clauses which highlight the relevant legal issues to consider in order to get it right from the start. Of course, you should always seek legal advice from a qualified legal practitioner before signing any contract. Some of the agreements that may deal with Screenrights royalties 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 you’ve determined that you are a rightsholder and can claim Screenrights royalties, you need to tell us about it. You can do this by submitting registrations on MyScreenrights for the films, TV shows, documentaries or other screen projects in which you own or control the right(s) to collect Screenrights royalties.
Learn more about registering for royalties here.
APPOINTING AN AGENT (OR NOT)
As a producer, you can join as a member and receive royalty payments directly from Screenrights. You can also choose to appoint an agent to claim and receive royalty payments on your behalf. The choice is yours.
When you appoint an agent you will need to provide the agent with information about the films, TV shows, documentaries and other screen projects in which you own or control the right to collect Screenrights royalties.
Typically, an agent will charge a commission for the services they provide. Often this commission is a percentage of the royalties the agent collects on your behalf. Appointing an agent is a commercial decision and agreement terms vary – so always do your homework and see a qualified lawyer before signing.
ROYALTIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
For producers wishing to claim royalties from outside of Australia and New Zealand, Screenrights can collect secondary royalties from across the globe on your behalf, as your agent. Learn more about Worldwide Royalty Collection.
There are a number of other agents offering similar services and appointing an agent is a commercial decision. The choice is yours.
Visit the Help Centre to learn more about the royalties we pay, registering your claims and timing of payments.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- 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 recommend 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.
- 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.