What is a master rights holder?

A Master Rights Holder is someone who holds the exclusive licence for the copyright in a sound recording and/or a music video. This means you own the copyright in the sound recording itself – different from the copyright in the composition of a song which belongs to the song writer(s).

A Master Rights Holder can be an independent recording artist, distributor or record label.

You’re also a Master Rights Holder if you have an exclusive licence agreement for New Zealand with the owner of 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.

Registration as a Master Rights Holder with Recorded Music NZ is open to New Zealand independent recording artists, distributors and record labels only. If you are the owner of an international recording and do not have an agreement with a New Zealand record label or distributor, repertoire can be submitted under Reciprocal Agreements held with Sound Exchange (USA) and PPL UK. Please contact Sound Exchange and PPL directly for details.

How do I register as a Licensor?

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 an independent New Zealand 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 is proposed to be replaced by the new Master Rights Agreement (effective 1 January 2018) 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 are eligible to become an independent shareholder, but this is up to you. Electing to become an independent shareholder 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.

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