Navigating the ordeal of music licensing for class, performance, and competition
A chance conversation between Martin and Christopher Wheeler from APRA AMCOS prompted an investigation of the music licensing regulations for dance schools in Australia.
Christopher provided some helpful information and links, recorded below, but I wanted to get a bigger picture and work out who these bodies are and what they do. A quick internet search soon became a research operation worthy of at least a master’s thesis! So many acronyms, so many different bodies, so little time! The things that need to be considered range from; are you using live music, or recorded music, how many days/week are classes to be held, to a list of the music used.
Please do contact APRA AMCOS directly for information regarding your particular situation as the details provided below are just a starting point and should, by no means, constitute the complete picture.
So a quick history lesson!
APRA Australasian Performing Right Association Limited, was established in 1926 to manage the performance and communication rights of its members. This covers music that is communicated or performed publicly including on radio, television, online, live gigs in pubs and clubs etc.
AMCOS Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society Limited was established in 1979 to manage “mechanical royalties”, that is, the reproduction or copying and storage of music in different formats. This covers copying of songs and compositions by record labels or other parties to sell them on CD, DVD, online, for use as production music and for radio/TV programs.
PCCA Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Limited, established in 1969, is a national, non government, non-profit organisation that represents the interest of record companies and Australian recording artists to safeguard the rights of Australian recording artists and labels, ensuring that they receive a fair return for their music. In January 2017, PPCA, together with ARIA and APRA AMCOS, introduced a new blanket licence solution to cover the use of sound recordings and copyright music at eisteddfods.
ARIA Australian Recording Industry Association is a national industry association proactively representing the interests of its members. It provides licences on behalf of participating sound recording rights holders (ARIA Licensors) to individuals and organisations who wish to make legitimate reproductions of sound recordings for some specific limited purposes (such as commercial background music suppliers). Through our licensing services you can access a wide range of sound recordings from major record companies and independent labels. for those interested in the reproduction of sound recordings for the purpose of their dance school, there is also a joint ARIA / AMCOS agreement for this which is administered by AMCOS. Please call AMCOS on 02 9935-7900 for further information.
ABLIS Australian Business Licence and Information Service, is a free online service that will help you find the right local and Australian government licences, permits, registrations, approvals and codes of practice you need to operate a business. https://ablis.business.gov.au/about
The ABLIS site is probably the easiest place to start for independent information regarding APRA AMCOS and the licence requirements, click here to see what I mean
We have been advised that you may also require licensing from the PPCA to cover the rights of recording artists and record studios (APRA AMCOS licensing covers the rights of composers, songwriters, and music producers).
In big news, APRA AMCOS will be launching a combined licensing service called OneMusic Australia, due in 2019. Drafts of the new licensing structures are being made available for review and consultation here.
Now for Eisteddfodau……………………………………….