Music licence

The music licence is an industry licence negotiated between Universities Australia and the music collecting societies: APRA AMCOS, ARIA and PPCA. It grants the University a range of reproduction, public performance and communication rights.

The licence only applies to music within the collecting societies repertoire, this covers the majority of music commercially available in Australia. To check if a musical work is covered you can Search Works at the APRA AMCOS website. If you are reproducing a sound recording, e.g. from a CD, check the ARIA list. The music must be from a legitimate source, e.g. not illegally downloaded.

The licence mostly relates to educational purposes and University events, both of these terms are defined in the licence. Educational purposes must be in connection with a particular course of instruction, study and/or research. A University event is one which is organised or authorised by the University. It can be held at the University or other venue. It does not apply to events with an entry fee or to events held at a University venue which has been hired by a third party.

Performing music

Students and staff can play live or recorded APRA works and PPCA sound recordings if it is:

  • for educational purposes (e.g. in a tutorial, part of an assessment);
  • at a University event (e.g. a graduation ceremony, open day, public lecture); or
  • for the sole benefit of staff in the workplace (e.g. playing background music in an office).

It may also be possible to record and reproduce performances if they meet the conditions below. In the case of live performances it is necessary to obtain the permission of the performers.

Recording and reproducing music

Students and staff can make audio and video recordings of AMCOS works and ARIA sound recordings in any format, e.g. MP3, DVD, as long as they are:

  • for educational purposes (e.g. in a lecture recording, provided to students for analysis);
  • of a University event (e.g. a student recital, o week); or
  • for playing at a University event (audio recordings only).

The licence also allows for music to be synchronised to audio and video recordings. For example music can be used in a backing soundtrack to a student film produced as a part of their course work. 

Copies of recordings can be distributed to staff and students only if they:

  • are for their own private and domestic use (including educational purposes);
  • comply with the marking requirements;
  • are provided for free or on a cost recovery basis;
  • do not contain any advertising or promotional material.  

Recordings can also be made available to students and staff via a secure password restricted intranet, i.e. FLO. The recordings must be for educational purposes and can be available for streaming or download. The above conditions, including the marking requirements, also apply.  

Restrictions of the music licence

The music license does not allow:

  • for the use of infringing copies;
  • entry fees to be charged for events;
  • performance or video recording of:
    • Grand Rights works,
    • musical works in a dramatic context,
    • music and words from a ballet if they are accompanied by visual representations of that ballet,
    • choral works of more than 20 minutes duration;
  • burlesque or parody performances of works;
  • performances of musical works with prohibited (as notified by APRA), new or substituted lyrics.