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Licensing for schools

How schools are licensed for music use

We're currently working with the National Copyright Unit to finalise a new comprehensive music licence for schools. In the meantime, schools can rely on an interim licence that provides all of the coverage of the previous schools licences (the Public Performance, Print Music and Audio-Visual licences) as well as some additional rights that enable schools to copy sheet music digitally and share recordings of school events online.

We'll update this page when the new licence is ready.

Examples of activities covered by the interim licence

  • Public performances at events directly associated with school activities – on or off campus (includes combined schools events)
  • Using music in a musical or play written by a teacher or students (conditions apply to secondary schools – see below)
  • Making an audio or audio-visual recording of a school performance or event
  • Upload recordings of school events to an education app used by the school for official communication with the school community
  • Sharing recordings of school events and performance on a school website or official school social media channels (please note that posts may be taken down by third-party platforms)
  • Sending recordings to members of the school community
  • Live streaming a school event on a school website, on official school social media channels or a conferencing platform such as Facebook or Zoom (please note that streams may be taken down or blocked by third-party platforms)
  • Incorporating a musical work or sound recording into an educational video, slide show or PowerPoint presentation, and sharing those files with the school community
  • Making physical and digital copies of print music owned by the school or a member of staff, for educational purposes (copies are limited to the number required for staff and students using the music for educational purposes)
  • Making a transcription of original print music owned by the school or a member of staff
  • Playing a film for entertainment (a Roadshow PPL Licence may also be required)
  • Playing music as the school bell and in communal spaces at school
  • Using hold music on the school telephone system

Activities that require further permission or licensing

  • Performing a Grand Right Work in its entirety. Grand Right Works are productions where the music and lyrics have been expressly written for the production – eg: Broadway musicals, musical films, operas, operettas, ballets, oratorios, and large choral works
  • Copying print music for the purposes of private instrumental/vocal tuition (even if lessons occur at school and/or during school time)
  • Making print arrangements that alter the nature of the work (eg. changing the melody, harmonies or lyrics)
  • Relying on the licence for commercial activities where the primary purpose is the advertising or promotion of the school (including recruitment campaigns) or a third party. Promotion of students' work and school events is permitted under the licence.

Do you have a question about the schools licence? Send us an email