What music license do venues need to play music?

In regulation with Australian Copyright Laws, our venues are required to attain permission (a license) to play an artist’s music within their clubs, bars, restaurants and events. These licenses protect exclusive rights of music creators and performers, allowing them control over the usage of their work plus the ability to collect royalties wherever their music is used. This is how Eddy Current can get paid in America and Angel Olsen can get paid in Australia.

Let us take you on a journey of music copyrights and how two organisations joined forces to simplify our venue music licensing.

There is generally more than one copyright component for a given song.

The copyrights of a song are split into the sound recording and the musical work (and publication) which then accumulate performance royalties every time the recording and musical work is shared publicly.

Every time you hear that Beyonce track being played in the club, she and her record label are getting paid public performance royalties for ownership of the sound recording and her fifty songwriters are also getting paid for Beyonce’s performance of their musical work.

What did that mean for venues?

A venue or event which played a sound recording of a musical work in a commercial setting would therefore need to acquire two licenses; one for the public performance of the musical work plus for the sound recording of the song. If you host a live performer, a DJ, or stream music for the enjoyment and entertainment of your customers then this means you.These two licenses were acquired from organisations that manage the separate correlating musical copyrights.

Are we keeping up? Ok, cool!

There were originally two (one joint) musical bodies that collected and distributed performance royalties for sound recordings and musical works.

Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (APRA AMCOS)

APRA AMCOS represents the composers, publishers and creators of musical works. They collect royalties and handle rights for the public performance of these works in a commercial setting or event as well as the reproduction of these works.

Phonographic Performance Company of Australia(PPCA)

The PPCA represents performing artists and record labels who have created and distributed the sound recordings of musical works plus collects royalties for the public or live performance of a sound recording.

As you can imagine, having to obtain overlapping licenses from two separate organizations was a bit frustrating.

Then came the OneMusic initiative to save the day!

The OneMusic license bundle was created in July, 2019 to streamline the public performance license process between APRA AMCOS and PPCA into one tidy organisation.

The OneMusic initiative offers simplified licensing tailored to the scale and usage of your bars, restaurants, dance clubs and event spaces so you won’t get caught out by inadequate licensing coverage, and your copyright obligations will be on point.

What this coverage means for you

By acquiring the OneMusic bundle, your venues will be fully licensed to play musical works and live recordings in a commercial setting and can rest easy by gaining protection from infringement of the Copyright Act (1968) for use of unlicensed music. All performance royalties collected by OneMusic will then be distributed to the artists and affiliated composers etc.

How does this affect Spotify and other streaming services?

Although Spotify and streaming accounts were initially designed for the personal use of their customers, OneMusic protected works can be used by different venue types, with the use of it’s “Digital copy/delivery” coverage so long as it does not override the streaming services terms and conditions. Other commercial background music services such as “Apple Music For Business” may already come with a OneMusic license attached.

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