The Music Licence

Performing Music

You can perform live or recorded music in class or for educational purposes, for the sole benefit of staff, (i.e. listening to music in the background while working) or in public as part of a University event.

A University event is defined as an event organised by, authorised by or held at the University (or another venue). This covers a range of events such as Open Day, O-week, graduation ceremonies, public lectures etc but also smaller and less formal events such as staff functions. If University premises have been let or hired to a third party (including a student) for non-educational purposes, a separate licence is required.

Music can be performed as background music or as the focus of the performance.

Only music included in the music industry's repertoire is covered. The repertoire is large and covers most sound recordings commercially available in Australia. To check if a sound recording is included search the APRA/AMCOS web site. The music used must also be from a legitimate source. Music purchased from legitimate online music sites such as iTunes or Big Pond Music can be used under the music licence.

Your performance must comply with the restrictions of the music licence.

If you make a recording of the event, it can only be used for certain purposes, see below.

Recording and Reproducing Music

You can make a video or audio recording of a performance in class or at a University event or synchronise audio or video recordings. Synchronisation is a process by which a soundtrack is combined with another audio or visual recording. For example, including background music to a film or combining music and dialogue in an audio recording.

You can reproduce music from the music industry's repertoire, as explained above, for example create multiple copies, a compilation, to convert formats or to play at a University event. Music purchased from legitimate online music sites such as iTunes or Big Pond Music can be used under the music licence.

Recordings can only be used for educational or archival purposes. Access to the recording must restricted to staff or students and can only be provided to them as part of their course. Video recordings of University events can be provided to staff or students for private or domestic purposes.

Recordings can be in any format (CD, DVD, mp3, mp4, etc). They must include the required notices and comply with marking requirements. Recordings can be streamed if access is restricted to staff and students and a username and password is required. A streaming server service is available. Recordings can also be made available for download by students for educational purposes.

Information on how to stream music for educational purposes

Your recording must comply with the restrictions of the music licence.


You cannot:

  • reproduce, communicate or perform infringing copies, e.g. pirate copies or copies downloaded illegally. Copies purchased and downloaded from legitimate online music sites such as iTunes or Big Pond music can be used under the music licence.
  • reproduce sheet music and other literary, dramatic or artistic works (you may be able to reproduce limited portions of these under different provisions).
  • reproduce cinematographic films, including music videos (you may be able to reproduce these under different provision).
  • broadcast any musical work or sound recording;
  • make reproductions of AMCOS works or ARIA sound recordings for the purpose of making them available either via an intranet or the Internet for the general public;
  • reproduce sound recordings other than ARIA sound recordings;
  • perform or make a video recording (either in full or excerpts) of:
    • Grand Rights works - works where the performance of a musical work is combined with a dramatic performance and may also include a narrative, plot, costumes & scenery. Examples of Grand Rights Works include musical comedies, operas, operettas and ballets. Grand Rights Works are usually exclusively licensed by the copyright owner, rather than through a collecting society. Grand Rights Works are also known as Grand Rights Performances.
    • musical works in a dramatic context;
    • musical works or associated words composed for a ballet if accompanied by a visual representation of that ballet;
    • a choral work of more than 20 minutes duration;
  • charge an entry fee (even on the basis of cost recovery) for any event or occasion where APRA Works or PPCA sound recordings are performed in public;
  • charge for recordings unless it is on a cost recovery basis only;
  • recordings may not include any promotional or advertising material;
  • perform musical works at a University venue which has been let or hired to a third party, staff member or student for non educational purposes;
  • perform any musical work with new or substituted or prohibited lyrics (as notified by APRA) or as a burlesque or parody;
  • make any unauthorised recordings (including videos) that breach performer's rights.

If you wish to perform or record music for purposes not covered by the music licence, please contact us.