Visual artists 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.
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 artwork where it has appeared in films, TV shows, documentaries and other screen projects, or none at all. 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.
You may be entitled to artistic works royalties where your artwork appeared in a film, TV show, documentary or other screen project that has earned educational, government or retransmission royalties.
Artistic works include paintings, drawings, engravings, sculptures, photographs and other works of ‘artistic craftmanship’.
See Royalty Payments to find out more about Screenrights royalties and the rights you need to own or control to be entitled to receive them.
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.
Typically, when an artist gives permission for their artwork to appear in a film, TV show, documentary or other screen project it is by way of a licence, rather than an assignment of rights. This usually means that the artist has not transferred the rights to receive Screenrights royalties. Each case is unique though – and you should always check your 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 that may deal with Screenrights royalties include:
- Licence for use
- Agency appointment
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
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. Download the Artistic Works Registration Form here.
The Help Centre has some great resources, including information on registration deadlines.
APPOINTING AN AGENT (OR NOT)
As a visual artist, 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 your artwork has appeared and where you are entitled to claim Screenrights royalties. The agent then registers claims with Screenrights on your behalf.
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.
The Copyright Agency (formerly Viscopy) offers a service to visual artists to collect Screenrights royalties on their behalf, as well as a range of other complementary services for visual artists.
ROYALTIES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
For artists wishing to claim royalties from outside of Australia and New Zealand, the Copyright Agency (formerly Viscopy) is the collecting society for Australian and New Zealand artists. Similar organisations operate in other countries around the world.
An artist may therefore choose to receive Screenrights royalty payments for Australian and New Zealand directly from Screenrights and other international royalties from Copyright Agency. Alternatively an artist may choose to receive all royalties from Copyright Agency, which means the artist will receive Screenrights royalties indirectly with the deduction of Copyright Agency’s commission as agent. The choice is yours.
Visit the Help Centre to learn more about the royalties we pay, registering your claims and timing of payments.