Generally, if a person wishes to use material where the copyright belongs to someone else, contact should be made with the owner of the copyright.
Information, and in some cases advice, can be sought from the Australian Copyright Council.
In some areas there are a large number of copyright owners and rather than contacting every owner, associations (called collecting societies) have been formed to collect royalty payments on behalf of their members who own the copyright.
In Australia these associations are:
- Screenrights (formerly Audio-Visual Copyright Society): collects royalties from educational institutions on behalf of filmmakers, scriptwriters, music publishers, composers and other owners of copyright.
- APRA AMCOS : the Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA) acts for owners of copyright in relation to public performance and broadcasting of musical works and the Australian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS) for music copyright owners in collecting royalties for record manufacture, sheet music and some film making.
- Copyright Agency Limited (CAL): which acts for authors and publishers in collecting photocopying fees from educational institutions and other organisations.
- Phonographic Performance Company (PPCA): provides licences to Australian businesses to play recorded music/sound recordings in public.
- VISCOPY: a copyright collecting society for visual artists.
The Copyright Council has a factsheet "Permission: How to Get It" which is a useful guide on how to locate a copyright owner and request permission.
The content of the Law Handbook is made available as a public service for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as a substitute for legal advice. See Disclaimer for details. For free and confidential legal advice in South Australia call 1300 366 424.