Statement – 22 December 2021
On 22 July 2020, Screenrights filed an application to the Copyright Tribunal for a determination of equitable remuneration for the retransmission of free-to-air television by Foxtel. In December 2021, Foxtel and Screenrights were able to reach agreement on the licence fee. The parties have agreed to a five year deal starting 1 January 2020 for the payment of equitable remuneration.
Screenrights Chief Executive, James Dickinson, said: “Screenrights is pleased that we’ve resolved our dispute and achieved the certainty of a five-year agreement with Foxtel, and the royalty payments it will provide for our members. We will always work hard on behalf of copyright owners to ensure that they receive a fair payment for the use of their content.”
Negotiations between the parties had been ongoing since August 2019.
Retransmission is where Foxtel carries the free-to-air channels on its cable and satellite services and distributes them to customers along with its own channels. Foxtel does so under a statutory licence provision in Part VC of the Copyright Act, 1968. Screenrights is appointed by the Commonwealth Government as the collecting society to administer the licence. Screenrights collects the remuneration on behalf of all the copyright owners of the programs retransmitted.
The Copyright Act provides that if the parties are unable to agree, the licence fee “equitable remuneration” can be determined by the Copyright Tribunal, a division of the Federal Court.
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