The Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Registered Consultancy Group has this week signed a landmark three year national agreement with the Copyright Agency after more than six months of negotiation.
The agreement came into effect immediately.
Key agreement elements include:
- Establishment of self-regulation for Registered Consultancy Group members
- Creation of safe-harbour provision for members in the event of a copyright breach
- Discount on copyright licences
- Provision of specialist copyright support resources by Copyright Agency Limited
- Capacity for consultancies to sell discounted copyright licences to clients
Under the terms of the deal, members of the Public Relations Institute of Australia’s Registered Consultancy Group (RCG) are now subject to self regulation in relation to potential copyright breaches. This includes the creation of a safe-harbour provision for RCG members which provides an amnesty from fines, provided correct licences are put in place.
RCG members will also receive discounts on the cost of copyright licences, have future preferred reseller arrangements to provide licences to their own clients and will receive specialist copyright support and resources from Copyright Agency, many of which will be co-developed with the Registered Consultancy Group.
Copyright Agency has committed to a contribution from licence fees to fund PRIA RCG related projects and initiaitves.
According to Copyright Agency, the agreement is one of the first globally to be introduced between a copyright management and collection organisation and a communication consultancy industry body.
Ross McCaul, Director Commercial Licencing for Copyright Agency said, “PR Agencies thrive in a dynamic intermediary role, connecting clients with their markets and stakeholders through media and expert advice.
“This is a pioneering agreement and provides preferable terms for RCG members on licences that deliver both a communication platform for sharing published material with clients, and a copyright compliance framework for day to day office activity. Importantly this deal shows PRIA RCG’s members hold themselves to a higher level of scrutiny and accountability.
“Copyright Agency sees the signing of this national agreement as a first step in a long term partnership. We will work with PRIA RCG’s over time to improve our licence products and provide support to further develop copyright expertise among PRIA RCG members as an advanced skillset and service differentiator. RCG members have already begun to leverage their role as trusted advisor to promote copyright compliance as a best business practice to their clients,” McCaul said.
Adam Benson, National Chair of the Registered Consultancy Group, said, “Many PR consultancies use a large amount of copyrighted content every day as part of their work. Through this national agreement we have, for the first time, a recognised understanding by rights holders and their collection agency that Registered Consultancy Group members understand and comply with copyright requirements as a matter of good business practice.”
Adam Benson said, “We take compliance seriously. Our members are educated and aware of when they need CAL licences and CAL has developed licences that suit our specific requirements. This is why the safe harbour provision was agreed to by CAL. It gives our members the opportunity avoid penalties and put the correct licence in place if there is oversight on their part.
“This agreement is significant and we look forward to working with all of our members and CAL to continue to build value around our relationship,” Benson said.