What is a Master Rights Holder?

A Master Rights Holder is someone who owns or is the exclusive licensee for New Zealand of copyright in a sound recording and/or a music video. 

  • Copyright owners:  In New Zealand, in the absence of any other agreement, the owner of copyright in a sound recording is the person who made the arrangements for the recording to be made.  This person can be an independent recording artist, distributor or record label.
  • Exclusive licensees: You’re also a Master Rights Holder if you have an exclusive licence agreement for New Zealand with the owner of copyright in a sound recording.  An example of this would be a local record label/distributor releasing in New Zealand a recording owned by an overseas record label.
  • Other licensees: Certain non-exclusive licensees of copyright may be eligible to be Master Rights Holders and receive income from Recorded Music NZ.  
How do I register as a Master Rights Holder

To register as a Master Rights Holder, please complete, sign and return the Master Rights Agreement Acceptance form.

Prior to signing, you should refer to the following materials:

If you are a recording artist, you might also wish to register as an artist in the Direct-to-Recording Artist Scheme.  Information on how to register can be found  here.

If you wish to view the current Input Agreement (as adopted in 2011) which has now been replaced by the new Master Rights Agreement (effective 1 January 2019) this can be found  here.

Elect to become a shareholder in Recorded Music NZ

The Master Rights Agreement acceptance form asks if you would like to become a shareholder in Recorded Music NZ.

Once you have registered as a Master Rights Holder you may choose to become an independent shareholder.  There is no financial benefit in becoming a shareholder.  The main benefit of becoming a shareholder is that it allows you to vote for the Board positions of Artist Representative Director & Independent Director.

If you would like to become an independent shareholder please sign the shareholder acceptance section of the Master Rights Agreement Acceptance form.

Alternatively if you have previously completed a Master Rights Agreement acceptance form but opted not to be a shareholder at that time, but now wish to please complete the Shareholder Elect Form.

Our Company Structure document  also contains information that you might find useful before deciding whether you wish to become a shareholder.

Please note that if you elect to become an independent shareholder, Recorded Music NZ is obliged to publish your name and address on the Companies Office register.