If Master Rights Holders wish Recorded Music NZ to collect licence fees on their behalf then they must execute a Master Rights Agreement (previously called an Input Agreement) and deliver it to Recorded Music NZ.

If this is not completed, Recorded Music NZ is not authorised to collect licence fees nor distribute royalties in respect of any sound recording labels or artists may own the copyright in.

View the current form of the Master Rights Agreement here.

Each Master Rights Agreement, among other things, sets out:

  • The scope of licence granted to Recorded Music NZ
  • The rights and obligations of both Recorded Music NZ and the Master Rights Holder to each other
  • The terms applying to various key issues like distribution and cost allocation; as well as
  • The extension or clarification of the grant of rights from time to time
Obligations of Master Rights Holders

Recorded Music NZ relies on the licence granted by Master Rights Holders, and the information provided by them, to grant licences to third parties and to collect and distribute funds.

Most importantly, in the Master Rights Agreement each Master Rights Holder:

  • Warrants to Recorded Music NZ that it is the owner or licensee of copyright in the relevant sound recordings, and that it has the rights necessary to grant the required licence to Recorded Music NZ; and
  • Agrees to indemnify Recorded Music NZ in respect of any breaches of this warranty

This means that Master Rights Holders are responsible for clearing all rights associated with their recordings before granting the licence to Recorded Music NZ. This includes obtaining an assignment or consent from any and all performers who perform on any sound recording. If an assignment of performers’ rights or an appropriate consent has not been obtained in respect of any recording made on or after 30 December 2018, Recorded Music NZ will be unable to licence that recording.

For recordings made on or after 30 December 2018, Master Rights Holders need to be aware of the rights of performers under the New Zealand Copyright Act. For more information on performers’ rights click here.

In addition, each Master Rights Holder has an ongoing obligation to provide a range of up-to-date and accurate information to Recorded Music NZ, as set out in the Master Rights Agreement.