After a successful five-year ‘Services Agreement’ and a Scheme of Arrangement approved by the Supreme Court, the corporate regulator ASIC and members, Copyright Agency and Viscopy will formally merge on 30 November.
At extraordinary general meetings of the Copyright Agency and Viscopy, members of both organisations overwhelmingly voted to support the merger of the two rights management bodies.
Copyright Agency CEO, Adam Suckling (pictured above), said “This is a significant moment in the history of these two organisations. Not only is it a positive move for members and the industry, it will help us drive efficiencies and ensure we can increase distributions to visual artists.”
Between them, the organisations represent around 40,000 direct and in-direct members, ranging from visual artists and illustrators to journalists, cartoonists, surveyors, educational authors and publishers.
Viscopy’s Australian and New Zealand visual arts members will now automatically become members of Copyright Agency with the creation of a new class of membership, ‘artist member’. Those members will elect a new Artist Director to the Copyright Agency Board.
The Viscopy Board has nominated current Viscopy director Oliver Watts to be the first Artist Director on the Copyright Agency Board until the 2018 AGM.
“The Copyright Agency will continue to champion visual artists at a time when creators’ rights have been threatened by ill-considered proposals to change the Copyright Act, undermining the framework that ensures artists and creators continue to control the rights of their work and receive fair payment for its use,” Mr Suckling said.