This page contains information on use of copyright material by State/Territory and Commonwealth government agencies.

Government use of copyright material

The main ways for government to use copyright material are statutory licences and direct licences, such as the purchase of material or subscriptions.

The Copyright Act provides for a government use statutory licence. This enables Commonwealth and State/Territory governments in Australia to make certain paid uses of copyright material without seeking permission.

We manage agreements between Commonwealth agencies and copyright collecting societies. This allows these agencies to access copyright material, and it means that copyright owners are paid for the use of their material. We manage two main agreements:

  • the Screenrights Agreement, which covers the use of film, television and radio content; and
  • the Copyright Agency Agreement, which covers the use of written material (including text, images and print music) in digital and hard copy.

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) collects payments for performance of music on behalf of song writers and Phonographic Performance Company of Australia collect payments for producers and performers of sound recordings. We do not manage a whole-of-government agreement with these organisations, but agencies can access an example of an individual government agency agreement with APRA by request. This agreement can be used as a model for agencies that perform music (for example by an agency band) or that play recorded in public (in this case a PPCA licence would also be needed). Agencies can email us to obtain copies of these documents:

  • APRA AGD model agreement
  • APRA AGD information sheet

Australian Government intellectual property rules

The Australian Government creates and holds a large volume of copyright materials. Agencies are responsible for managing these materials.

The Australian Government IP Rules provide guidance on how Australian Government agencies should manage their IP, and how different types of IP should be used. They contain information about:

  • parts of government contracts and agreements that are about IP
  • publication and licensing of government information
  • Government use of copyright material

The IP rules comprise the principles and the documents below:

The following documents are also available on request by emailing us:

  • sample model contract clauses
  • explanatory material about the intellectual property policy and the model contract clauses
  • licensing and use of Commonwealth material