Why would I need a licence?
Under legislation passed in late 2006, you no longer need permission, under limited circumstances, to make a copy of a CD or a digital download that you own for your private and domestic use for use on a different device.
Unless the private copying exception or one of the other very limited exceptions in the Copyright Act apply, you are unable to make copies of recordings without first obtaining a licence from the copyright owner.
If you wish to reproduce (copy) any sound recording you will need to contact either the copyright owner, often the record company or label that released the sound recording for each separate sound recording. In some limited commercial circumstances ARIA (Australian Record Industry Association Ltd) may be able to provide a reproduction licence.
What sort of sound recording reproductions is ARIA able to license?
currently licenses reproductions of its members' sound recordings
for the following types of activities:
- Use in jukeboxes/computerised music systems supplied to pubs,
clubs, and for dance parties;
- Use by commercial premises including in store play at retailers,
cafés, restaurants and pubs (e.g. background music compilations,
computerised music systems);
- Use on aircraft as in-flight audio programs;
- Supply to operators of aerobic exercise clubs or classes, studios
and gymnasiums, or aerobics instructors;
- Use of sound recordings in non-dramatic productions such as sports,
lifestyle and reality television programs - not theme
music or any type of promotion or advertisement;
- Supply to dance instructors and dance teachers, including line
dance instructors. This licence is not applicable to teachers putting
together a compilation to provide to students for practice in their
Please refer to the joint AMCOS/ARIA Dance Schools licence administered by AMCOS for further information;
- Use as 'Music on Hold' by commercial outlets;
- Use in music therapy (i.e. music used in conjunction with the
supply of non-music services) for members of the Australian Music Therapy Association Inc;
- A DJ wanting to put sound recordings on to a single source (e.g: computer hardware) for ease of use, and as a back-up in case originals get lost or stolen.
What sort of sound recording reproductions
is ARIA unable to license?
The record companies represented
by ARIA's licence have not given us permission to issue licences in
all instances. Where ARIA cannot provide a licence, you will need
to contact the copyright owner (often the relevant record company
or label) directly for permission.
We DO NOT
license reproductions in the following circumstances:
- Anyone wanting to put together a product/compilation for sale to the public (this includes all retail stores, market stalls,
- Any compilation /product to be created for branding, promotional or training use;
- A DJ or any other person wishing to use a sample of a commercially
released sound recording in their mix or any person wanting to create mix-tapes or remixes;
- The reproduction of sound recordings for use in a film, DVD or video;
- The use of sound recordings for theme
music, promos or in a dramatic context in television productions;
- The reproduction of sound recordings for use in any advertisements or commercials;
- The reproduction of sound recordings for use as "walking on" or
"walking off" music at seminars or conferences;
- Music for use at wedding ceremonies or other public events;
- Any person wanting to make a "back-up" copy of their album, CD
- Any person wishing to make a copy of a sound recording for a friend;
- Any person wanting to set up a business where the customer details
which sound recording they would like on a CD and the business puts
the required sound recordings onto a CD and sells the product to
the customer. This is considered the retail sale of a compilation
- Any person who wants to set up a business where they convert sound recordings into another format for customers (e.g. converting vinyl records into CD format for customers;
- ALL reproductions of sound recordings downloaded from unauthorised internet sites;
- Podcasts or other online uses.
Can I go direct to record companies and
labels for a licence?
ARIA's rights to grant reproduction
licences for sound recordings and /or music video clips are non-exclusive.
Licence applicants are entitled to negotiate directly with any or
all of ARIA's record company members
to obtain a licence to reproduce / re-record / dub sound recordings
or music video clips.
How does ARIA distribute
the licence fees it collects?
Licence fees generated from ARIA licences
are collected and then distributed to the ARIA Licensors based on the reports that our licensees supply.
We require licensees to
provide us with information in the form of reports which include for example, information relating to artist, track title, record label and record company, and the number of times that each sound recording or music video has been reproduced, so that we can distribute the share of the licence fees to the respective ARIA Licensors.
ARIA retains a commission to cover the administrative,
operational and legal costs of administering the licences.
When should I apply for a licence?
To avoid infringing copyright a licence should
be obtained in advance of undertaking the reproduction of any sound
recordings or music videos.
I already have an AMCOS licence - why do
I also need a sound recording licence from ARIA or the copyright owner?
There are at least two (2)
copyrights in any recording:
- The copyright in the written song, composition or lyrics (i.e.
the "musical work" in copyright language). AMCOS only grants licences
to reproduce the musical work;
- The copyright in the recorded version of the musical work, i.e.
the "sound recording". ARIA grants licences for the reproduction
of the sound recording, where it is authorised to do so, and distributes
the fees it collects among individual sound recording copyright
holders (usually the record company/label);
The practical effect of this distinction is
that the reproduction of a sound recording usually requires two licences
- one from AMCOS and one from either ARIA or the sound recording copyright
owner. If you have only one licence with AMCOS and you are reproducing
sound recordings you are likely to be infringing copyright.
Do I require an ARIA licence if I am only
reproducing sound recordings by overseas artists?
Yes, licences will be required
in respect of all copyright protected recordings.
regulations extend copyright protection to recordings and music videos
of overseas artists as well. ARIA's blanket licence covers both domestic
and international repertoire.
What are my reporting obligations under an ARIA licence?
At the end of each financial quarter licensees
will be required to provide ARIA with various reports including revenue reports and recordings reports. reports. This includes
a summary of all reproductions of sound recordings during the period,
including track information, (i.e. artist, title, record label/company)
and the number of reproductions.
Is there an application fee or advance
that I will be required to pay?
There is no "application fee". However, licensees
will typically be required to pay an advance on estimated quarterly
What recordings can I reproduce if I enter
into an ARIA licence?
You will only be entitled to reproduce sound
recordings that are owned by our participating members and their respective
the current list of record companies and record labels that participate
in our ARIA licensing program HERE.
Please note that there are certain sound recordings that are specifically excluded from the ARIA licences.
Can I mix, remix or segue any sound recordings
under an ARIA licence?
No, you are not permitted
to mix, remix or segue any sound recording under the ARIA licence.
ARIA is only able to licence you the right to reproduce a sound recording
in its original state and not the right to alter it in any way.
You will need to seek the consent of the record
company from whom the rights in the relevant sound recording derive
before remixing or otherwise altering any sound recordings.
What other licences do I need in addition
to an ARIA reproduction licence?
If you are making
reproductions of sound recordings you will also need to contact AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical
Copyright Owners Society Ltd) at first instance,
to obtain information in
relation to the licences required for the reproduction of the musical works.
A licence for the right
to reproduce (copy) does not cover the "public performance"
rights (ie. the rights to play a sound recording in public). A separate
licence will be required if the recordings are to be played "in
public". Such licences are available from PPCA
(Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd), or the relevant
copyright owners (usually the record companies)
You will also need to contact APRA (Australasian
Performing Rights Association Ltd). APRA represents publishers and
composers in relation to musical works and is able to issue blanket
licences for their public performance.
What is the process to obtain an ARIA licence?
Start off by filling out
Reproduction Licence Application form. We will review the information
you provide on this form and determine whether ARIA is authorised
to grant a licence of the type you require. If so, we will send you
a proposed licence agreement and advise you of the licence fee payable.
Please be aware your application will be reviewed
by our licensing and legal departments and may take several weeks