PR industry body signs deal with copyright enforcer

PRIALarge PR agencies which are members of the Public Relations Institute of Australia may be able to avoid fines if they breach copyright under a new deal signed by the association.

PRIA’s Registered Consultancy Group signed the deal with Copyright Agency, a company which enforces copyright claims on behalf of rights holders such as newspapers and online publishers.

It means agencies which are caught out will be able to avoid a fine if they instead licence the content.

The issue is a key one for PR agencies which often use cuttings and screenshots to show their work to clients – a practice which can see them breach copyright.

The deal involves a “safe-harbour provision” for RCG members that will give them an amnesty from fines provided correct licences are then put in place.

In addition, member PR firms will receive discounts on the cost of copyright licenses and have preferred reseller arrangements to provide licenses to their own clients, said PRIA.

National chairman of the Registered Consultancy Group Adam Benson said of the deal: “It gives our members the opportunity avoid penalties and put the correct licence in place if there is oversight on their part.”

The Copyright Agency said the deal, which comes into effect immediately, is one of the first globally to be introduced between a copyright management and collection organisation and an industry body.

Ross McCaul, director of commercial licencing for the Copyright Agency said: “This deal shows PRIA RCG’s members hold themselves to a higher level of scrutiny and accountability.”

Steve Jones


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