Australian Copyright Council

You are here → HomeNews & Policy

News & Policy

Copyright Tribunal decides rate payable for use of survey plans

The Copyright Tribunal has today handed down its decision on the rate payable by the New South Wales Government for its use of survey plans.


The decision follows lengthy litigation between Copyright Agency and the NSW Government. Amongst other issues, Copyright Agency argued that the use of survey plans was subject to a remunerated statutory licence whereas the Government argued that it had a free implied licence to use the plans.


The case culminated in a 2008 High Court decision in the Copyright Agency's favour - the result being that Government did have to remunerate rights holders for its use of the plans. For more information, see our earlier piece here.


Today's Copyright Tribunal decision sets a rate for the amount payable by government and we understand that the rate payable is 7.94% of price on all sales, with a deemed price for sales by brokers at $14.50 + CPI. The link to the decision is available here.


Use of survey plans is one of the issues raised by the ALRC Inquiry, which saw a strong response from surveyors to the ALRC's Issues Paper. The ALRC's June Discussion Paper proposes the introduction of a broad fair use exception, including a range of illustrative purposes, such as public administration. It also proposes abolition of the government statutory licence to which this Tribunal decision applies. Submissions in response to the ALRC Discussion Paper are due on 31 July. For more information, see