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License fees and payments

In some situations copyright ownership is unclear. Do not assume that you can use it.

Check with a copyright collecting society, such as the Copyright Agency. They may have a licence you can acquire that covers your intended use; or may be able to assist you to identify the copyright owner and then negotiate with you and the copyright owner to supply a license for your specific needs. Fees may apply.

Licenses may be either ‘Annual’ or ‘Pay per Use’.

Annual licenses

Businesses and organisations may take out an annual copyright licence through the Australian Copyright Agency which provides all employees with consistent reuse rights across a range of materials. The fee will vary depending on the range and breadth or resources included, the permissions granted and the number of employees.

As the name suggests, the license lasts for one year and then needs to be renewed or renegotiated.

Pay per-use licensing

If you do not have an annual license, or would like to use content beyond the terms detailed in the annual license, a ‘pay per-use’ license may suffice instead.

When you purchase a per-use license, you are buying the rights to use and share copyright material. You will need to specify how you would like to use the work, which will determine the duration of the license.

Generally, a pay-per-use license covers only one event or a specified number of copies or specific uses etc over a nominated time period. Pricing varies depending on these factors. For example, per the Copyright Agency, in 2021, to post a news article from the Australian newspaper to your webpage for three months would cost $329 plus GST.

Working in a global market place you may need to consult the Copyright Clearance Center (advocates for copyright around the world) which can supply pay-per-use licenses for a range of materials.