Reciprocal agreements

Recorded Music NZ has direct bilateral agreements in place with Sound Exchange (USA) and PPL (UK).

If you are aware that your recordings have been broadcast in either the USA or UK, you should let us know.

Supply of repertoire is not automatic on registration with Recorded Music NZ, as conditions for what constitutes a qualifying recording apply due to differences in copyright legislation between NZ and both the USA and UK.

Registration is only open to owners of sound recordings i.e. producers for both territories.

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

In addition to our bilateral agreements, Recorded Music NZ is also a signatory to a global reciprocal agreement specifically for webcast rights. This reciprocal agreement gives rights organisations the ability to licence for certain online radio simulcasts that may be received by listeners far beyond the territory it was broadcast from.

Performer’s Rights

Part 9 of the Copyright Act 1994 does provide artists/performers with certain music rights in relation to live performances.

However, these rights do not relate to session musicians or contract performers on sound recordings in New Zealand.

The Sound Recording Copyright

In New Zealand a sound recording is a copyright work, and the owner of this copyright is the person who made the arrangements necessary for the making of the recording.

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 music licensing company – i.e. Recorded Music NZ – acting collectively on behalf of the owners of copyrights in the sound recordings.

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

Performer’s Rights on Sound Recordings

Unlike in the United Kingdom, for instance, there are no statutory obligations in New Zealand for the owner/s of copyrights in the sound recordings to share this licensing revenue with those who performed on the recording, nor do performers have any broadcast or public performance rights in themselves.

However, sound recording owners do opt to share this licensing revenue with New Zealand recording artists, providing that both the sound recording owner and the NZ resident artist both register with Recorded Music NZ.

This is a Recorded Music contractual arrangement with rights’ holders that recognises and rewards local content, and not a consequence of the law. Registration is only available to qualifying New Zealand recording artists.

For more information please contact our Distribution and Member Service’s Manager Dean Cameron at