How we pay authors and publishers

5 questions we get asked about our distribution process

We’re focussed on helping owners of creative content earn a living from their work. Here are answers to the questions authors and publishers often ask us about how we distribute the money we collect from licensing.

Q: How does CLNZ know who to distribute monies to each year?
A: We ask our licence-holders for their copying information and we carry out sampling surveys with a selected number of licence-holders. The licensing fees we collect (less operating costs) are then distributed to copyright owners on the basis of the information gathered.

Q: Does sampling really produce a representative result?
A: It does. For most of our licensees, it’s just not possible to record every work copied throughout the year so sampling is the best option. Our surveys are structured by a statistician to be representative of the copying conducted over the term of each licence and to account for variations such as location and size amongst licensee groups.

We have also recently entered a two-year pilot e-reporting agreement with Universities of New Zealand (UNZ) – this means that New Zealand universities will record all the works they copy throughout the year.

Q: What if my work is copied overseas?
A: We have reciprocal agreements with many overseas organisations like ours (reproduction rights organisations or RROs). This means that if you’re a New Zealand copyright owner and your publication is copied overseas in a country that has licensing schemes in place, the local RRO will send the funds to us and we will distribute these back to you.

Q: How do you calculate what authors or publishers are owed?
A: Each year, we look at the copying information we have gathered from our licensees and we look at our net income from licensing fees. Next, we divide our net income by the total number of pages copied across all works during the year to determine a rate per page. Then we pay the copyright owners whose works have been copied during the year for the number of pages copied from their work at that page rate.

Q: How do you make payments to publishers and authors?
A: We start by writing you a letter. If your works were copied during the survey period for the year, we’ll send you a list of all your material that was copied and the amount we‘ve calculated to be paid to you. Then, once you’ve confirmed this material does belong to you and have sent us your bank details, we make the payment. Hey presto!

If you’ve got an additional question, email us at

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