Recorded Music NZ is unable to take registrations directly from offshore right holders, as the administrative burden and costs would outweigh any benefits of such direct registration. Overseas right holders can either seek local representation, or use Reciprocal or Bilateral Agreements where appropriate. These options provide a more cost-effective solution for all parties concerned.

Reciprocal Agreements

Recorded Music NZ’s primary function is to collect and distribute revenues from uses of sound recordings within New Zealand.

In some cases we can collect income from uses of music in other countries and pay it directly to registered New Zealand Master Rights Holders, via bilateral agreements with similar entities in those countries.

We currently have bilateral agreements in place with Sound Exchange (USA), PPL (UK) and PPCA (Australia).

If you are a Master Rights Holder aware that your recordings have been publicly performed or broadcast in these countries, you should let us know as it may be possible to claim income for those uses directly through Recorded Music NZ.

We do not automatically register Master Rights Holders for income from these countries, as there are differences in the law as between NZ and these other countries that can affect whether and how much you are able to collect.

This will be possible only if you own copyright in both territories.

For any queries or more information please contact our Distribution and Member Services Manager Dean Cameron at

The Sound Recording Copyright

In New Zealand a sound recording is a copyright work and, in the absence of any other agreement, the owner of this copyright is the person who made the arrangements necessary for the making of the recording. This will often be the person who paid the recording costs.

Broadcasting or playing these sound recordings (or music videos) in public is a restricted act. This means that permission is required from the owner of the copyright work for these acts to take place.

This permission or authorisation is usually given via a collective management organisation – i.e. Recorded Music NZ – acting collectively on behalf of the owners of copyrights in the sound recordings.

Recorded Music NZ licences music users on behalf of sound recording owners and distributes this income to right holders as annual public performance and broadcast royalties.

Performers’ Rights on Sound Recordings

With respect to recordings made on or after 30 December 2018, the Copyright Act also grants certain rights to performers. Performers are entitled to give or withhold their consent when recordings they have performed on are:

  • Copied
  • Communicated to the public or
  • Issued to the public as copies

Performers can assign their rights to a third party by agreement in writing, or they can give a consent that covers specific recordings, a category of recordings, or recordings generally.

New Zealand law does not give performers a right to remuneration or payment in respect of their performances. As a result, Recorded Music NZ does not collect on behalf of, or make payments to, performers on the basis of performers’ rights.

Eligible performers are entitled to register for the Direct to Recording Artist Scheme under which performers can receive up to 50% of the revenues collected on behalf of Master Rights Holders.

This is a Recorded Music contractual arrangement with right holders that recognises and rewards local content, and not a consequence of the law.

For more information please contact our Distribution and Member Services Manager Dean Cameron at