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.

There is no whole-of-government agreement for the use of music by government agencies. Agencies that perform music (for example by an agency band) or that play recorded music in public are encouraged to establish licensing arrangements with the relevant collecting societies. Agencies can email us for information about the appropriate arrangements for their needs.

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