As education and research institutions, copyright laws and policy can have a major impact on universities.

As the peak body for the sector, Universities Australia advocates for reasonable copyright law reform, engages with government on copyright matters and monitors wider policy matters related to copyright.

Universities Australia also manages the statutory licence which allows educational institutions such as universities to copy limited content for educational purposes.

Copyright POLICy

Universities Australia liaises closely with university copyright officers to develop clear policies on the use of copyright material and on the management of intellectual property generated by universities.

Universities Australia is also an active member of the Australian Digital Alliance and holds a position on the Board.

Universities Australia has developed and regularly reviews guides to copyright policy which are available to member universities via the Copyright Officers Network site.


Universities Australia manages agreements with the Copyright Agency and Screenrights on behalf of its member universities. These agreements are negotiated and maintained in accordance with the statutory licence detailed in section 113P of the Copyright Act 1968.

Universities Australia also assists in appointing the independent monitoring body that collects usage data associated with the statutory licence. This collection facilitates accurate distribution of royalties to copyright owners by collecting societies.

Universities Australia also negotiates and manages a commercial music licence on behalf of the sector with APRA AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA. More information on this licence is available on the APRA AMCOS website.

Agreement on copyright licence fees

Universities Australia and Copyright Agency are very pleased to announce that they have reached agreement on the copyright fees payable until 2026 and the balance of fees from 2019 to 2022. The agreement also establishes a working party to develop mechanisms for data collection on the copying and sharing of content in the university sector.

Universities Australia CEO Catriona Jackson said:

“Universities Australia, acting on behalf of 39 universities, welcomes the agreement that has been reached with the Copyright Agency in relation to the remuneration to be paid for the statutory licence which allows universities to copy works for educational purposes. The settlement brings to an end litigation that was commenced in 2018 and provides for agreed remuneration until 2026. The agreement means that the long running litigation will cease, and the parties will proceed on the basis of a shared desire to build stronger working relations and put in place a monitoring system for the future.”

Copyright Agency CEO Jo Johnston said:

“I am delighted that we have been able to work constructively with Universities Australia to resolve this long-running dispute. The agreement provides budgeting certainty for both the university sector and for content creators whose content is copied and shared by universities under the education statutory licence scheme. It also means that funds that have been held in escrow since 2019 can now be released to members. Copyright fees are important to our members, and contribute to continued investment in content used in the university sector. We are looking forward to continuing to work with Universities Australia on areas of mutual interest.”

Equitable remuneration payable by Universities will be as follows. For the years:

  • 2019-2022  – $31 million per year
  • 2023-2024  – $28.5 million per year
  • 2025-2026  – $27.5 million per year.