The Copyright Act 1968 sets out a government use statutory licence. Under this licence, the Australian Government is allowed to use whatever copyright material it needs, for official purposes

Written and audio-visual material

We manage agreements between all Commonwealth Government agencies and copyright collecting societies. This allows government agencies to access copyright material, and it means that copyright owners are paid for the use of their work.

We manage two main agreements:

  • the Screenrights Agreement, which covers audio-visual material
  • the Copyright Agency Agreement, which covers written material (including print music) in digital and hard copy.

Copies of these agreements can be obtained by copyright [at] communications.gov.au (subject: Written%20and%20audio%20visual%20material) (contacting us)

Coordination of licences

Each government agency manages its own copyright arrangements.

You can usually find an agency's copyright notice on the front or back pages of a published document, or through a link at the very bottom of its web pages. If the agency that produced the material no longer exists, you should contact the agency currently responsible for the material.  You can find the contact details for different government agencies online through the Australia.gov.au.

Creative Commons

Government agencies are required to release copyrighted public sector information under Creative Commons licences, or other open content licences, wherever possible.

Further guidance on using Creative Commons and other licences is available from the Creative Commons and AusGOAL websites.