If you wish to arrange music or use it in print, online, advertisements, film or TV you need the permission and a licence from the copyright owners of the musical work and sound recordings. We can help you find the right contact.
We've got specialised departments to look after our members, licence enquiries, international affiliates, and more. Get in touch or send us a message using our department direct form.
Do I need an APRA AMCOS music licence if I play royalty-free music?
The use of directly-licensed music (also known as royalty-free music) does not require a licence from PPCA and sometimes does not require a licence from APRA AMCOS.
This may be because the recordings and/or the songs are not part of the PPCA or APRA AMCOS repertoire, or a licence has been sought and obtained directly from the copyright owner (e.g. a record label or songwriter). Such libraries of music tend to be smaller in size and represent a small fraction of the PPCA and/or APRA AMCOS repertoires.
Unfortunately, it has been our experience that what appears to be directly-licensed music is not, and often does require a licence from the copyright owner or APRA AMCOS. If you are unsure if the music you are playing is royalty-free or not, you can contact us to provide details of your royalty-free music supplier, and we can advise you.
How often and long do I need to pay for an APRA music licence?
Please note the following applies to APRA invoicing only.
You pay when you first take out the APRA licence, then when it renews once a year. If your licence fee is more than $500 we will put you on quarterly payments (with no interest) or you can choose to pay annually.
If you no longer need our licence (e.g. if you stop using music), you can terminate with one month’s notice to us. APRA licences are not transferable. So, if you have taken over a business or changed your ABN/ACN then a new APRA licence will be required.
Do I need an APRA AMCOS music licence if I only play or copy music from overseas artists?
Without a licence you would need to deal directly with the overseas composers, songwriters, music publishers, or other third parties who control the rights in the overseas song/s you wish to use.
An APRA AMCOS licence covers the majority of copyright music globally. APRA AMCOS has reciprocal agreements with collecting societies worldwide.
For example, PRS for Music administers Courtney Barnett’s rights in the UK, which means that royalties for performances in that territory are collected by PRS for Music and distributed to her accordingly via APRA AMCOS. Similarly, APRA AMCOS administers Ed Sheeran’s rights in Australia and pays his royalties accordingly through PRS for Music.
How is APRA AMCOS able to license music use?
Whenever music is performed in public, communicated or reproduced (copied in some way) the songwriter and their publisher need to give their permission, and they might be entitled to a payment known as 'royalties' for that use. In Australia this is based on the Copyright Act (1968).
Rather than give that permission venue-by-venue, songwriters and music publishers join APRA AMCOS and we grant permission through licences and licence fee collection. We have agreements with similar organisations (international affiliate societies) who represent songwriters and publishers overseas, to collect licence fees on their behalf, and pay those royalties through them to their members.