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.

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.

Certain university businesses may be able to rely on the music licence. Please contact the Copyright Office for more information. If University premises have been let or hired to a third party (including a student) for non-educational purposes, a separate licence is required.

Any performance of live or recorded music must comply with the general restrictions of the music licence below.

Recording and reproducing music

You can make a video or audio recording of a performance in class, at a University event or synchronise audio or video recordings. Synchronisation is a process by which music is captured with video footage. For example, including background music to a film or combining music and dialogue in an audio recording. Guidelines around synchronisation of music depends on the kind of music being used. For more information, please contact the Copyright Office for more information.

Audio and audio-visual recordings can be stored on the LMS and shared with University staff and students. Physical recordings of these performances can also be provided for free or for a cost-recovery price to staff, students and their immediate family for private and domestic use.

Audio-only recordings can also be streamed via the University website. If you would like to use these types of recordings to share on official University social media channels, please contact the Copyright Office for more information.

Using music for educational purposes

For more information on how to stream music for educational purposes, please visit the music streaming service page from Learning Environments.

Using print music

The music licence also allows us to use printed or sheet music for the following purposes:

  • Physical or digital copying for educational purposes
  • Physical or digital copying for the purposes of giving a performance at a University event
  • Storing and providing access to digital copies to University staff and students from the LMS.

Using print music under the licence is subject to the following conditions:

  • If making physical copies of sheet music, do not make copies in excess of what is needed.
  • Only scores owned by the University can be copied under this licence. Borrowed scores, scores owned by staff or students or copies of scores cannot be used.
  • No alterations to lyrics or new arrangements can be made to the music.
  • These copies can only be provided to University staff and students.
  • These copies must be destroyed or taken offline when no longer required.
  • All copies must be labelled with the following information:

Copy made pursuant to a licence between Universities Australia and AMCOS.

Title of work



Arranger (if applicable)

General restrictions

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 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.
    • 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 of over $40 (plus GST) for University
  • 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.

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