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Copyright licences

This section provides information about the different types of copyright licences available in New Zealand and which organisation to contact depending on what type of work it is.

On this page:

Overview of copyright licences

Copyright licences grant users permission to copy or do other restricted acts that are otherwise prohibited under the Copyright Act, or extend the exceptions to copyright infringement which permit users to copy and do other restricted acts in relation to works under the Copyright Act. Schools must pay licence fees in order to get these additional rights.

Licences are currently available that allow schools to do the following for:

Literary works:

Make a hard copy of parts of literary works that are published in print format, including any artistic works that are included within those literary works – CLNZ licence to copy from printed published works. 


Copy music scores and perform music – public performance and print music licence

Newspapers, magazines:

Copy articles in New Zealand newspapers and magazines – newspaper licence.

Radio, television:

Record programmes from radio and television broadcasts – broadcast licence

School performances:

Record school performances by students to audio or video (where they have not composed the words and music), or dubbing from commercial music recordings – music and sound recording licence

Note: Electronic sources

There are no blanket licences currently available that cover material from electronic sources such as CD-ROMs, DVDs, or music and sound recordings downloaded from the Internet. For a discussion of copying from the Internet, go to Electronic copying and works from the Internet.

Types of copyright licences

'One-stop-shop' NZSTA licensing scheme

Schools can purchase most of the available copyright licences through The New Zealand School Trustees Association’s (NZSTA) 'one-stop-shop' licensing scheme.

For more information, see Your one-stop copyright licensing solution on the NZSTA website. This page includes a link to a brochure that highlights the benefits of each licence and their cost.


CLNZ licence to copy from printed published works

This licence is offered by Copyright Licensing New Zealand (CLNZ), a licensing body set up by authors and publishers in New Zealand. CLNZ has reciprocal arrangements with similar bodies around the world.

This licence permits copying from a worldwide repertoire of hard copy published works (books, journals and periodicals) with some minor exceptions, and includes the copying of any artistic works (such as photographs) that are included within the literary work.

This licence extends the statutory exceptions which allow educational establishments to make multiple copies of a part of a literary work (to be made for distribution to students as handouts or course packs) for educational purposes.

It allows multiple copies of one article from a journal (or more if the articles are on the same subject), and multiple copies of up to one chapter or 10% of a book (whichever is the greater) to be made for educational purposes.

The licence fee is based on the number of students enrolled in the school.

The licence also includes a Print Media Copyright Agency (PMCA) licence which permits copying from from most New Zealand daily, business, and community newspapers, and many magazines.

More information

Televsion, SVOD, and Radio

Screenrights licence to copy television and radio broadcasts

The Audio Visual Copyright Society, Screenrights, offers schools a licence to make copies of television and radio broadcasts for educational purposes.

The licence covers both 'on air' and cable broadcasts of television and radio programmes in New Zealand. Schools can make as many recordings of the broadcasts as they wish under this licence. Screenrights sends licensees (including schools) regular schedules of radio and television programmes that may be of interest.

The licence fee is based on the number of students enrolled in the school.

The Screenrights Licence supports the copying and communication of audio-visual material made available legally on the internet for educational use. The use of SVOD (Subscription Video on Demand, for example, Netflix) platforms in an educational setting may be limited by the SVOD platform’s terms and conditions on a user account. The accounts created on most commercial SVOD platforms allow only personal use and may limit any other use, including use in an educational setting or other types of non-personal screening such as in a classroom.
Educational resource centres such as ETV and ClickView copy material legally from broadcasts and the internet under the Screenrights Licence. These online streaming platforms provide educators at licensed institutions with tens of thousands of programs and films curated for educational use.


APRA licence to copy and perform musical works

This licence is offered by the Australasian Performing Rights Association (APRA), an association of music writers and publishers. Its members (numbering more than 24,000) have collectively pooled their music so that it is available for public performance and reproduction from a single source.

APRA has reciprocal agreements with over 60 similar societies around the world so that the APRA repertoire available to those schools with an APRA licence is a vast, worldwide catalogue of all types of copyright music.

This licence covers public performances of music and copying of printed music scores.

Public performance

The APRA schools licence covers virtually every music performance that a school may entertain, including:

  • concerts and performances at school by students or otherwise
  • concerts by school groups at multi-school festivals
  • performances by visiting musicians
  • socials and dances.

Exception – Musicals

The licence does not cover performances of Grand Right Musicals, such as, Jesus Christ Superstar, Les Miserables, and Oliver! and performances in a dramatic context (where music is added to the dramatic show) in secondary schools where the show is run for profit and advertised in the public media.

However, APRA may be able to advise you on how to contact the appropriate copyright owner to obtain permission to do so.

[There are mandatory survey requirements with the APRA licences.]

Printed music scores

This licence is designed to allow teachers to copy print music and choral works and provide them to students.

While the licence does not replace the need to own the original musical score, it allows teachers to make multiple copies of the musical score to supplement students' resources. Music can be photocopied under the licence for use in the classroom, and for use in rehearsals and performances by school bands, orchestras, choirs, or other school ensembles.

Under the terms of the licence, up to 30 copies of a print musical work may be copied for every original owned. In the case of choral works, up to five copies may be made for every original owned.

The licence fees are based on the number of students [enrolled].

APRA licence to make (audio and video) recordings of musical works

This licence is also offered by APRA. It allows schools to make audio or video recordings of musical works for educational purposes and supply the recordings to students for students' private domestic use, provided that the recording is:

  • intended to be played at a school event
  • of a school event
  • for analysis by students as a part of a course for instruction.

There is a fee per student for this licence. There are also mandatory survey requirements for this licence.

Copyright agencies

Copyright agencies periodically survey the use of copyright works covered by their licence within schools by asking schools to record samples of their copying for a certain period. Licensee schools must comply with these surveys as a condition of holding the licence, as the agencies use the information from the surveys to distribute licence fees to copyright owners.