09. Copyright compliance

Music played out loud in a business including in live music venues and events needs to have been permitted. You can get that permission by directly asking the people who own the songs and paying them or by buying a music licence from OneMusic Australia. This is part of Australian law, the Copyright Act.
Why do I need a music licence in Australia?

Business owners need to have permission to play music on site at a venue or an event. This is different to playing music at home. You can get direct permission from the owners of the song or a licence to play 2 million songs from anywhere around the world from OneMusic Australia. Music used without permission could be infringing copyright and is enforceable by Australian law.

The cost of a OneMusic music licence depends on your business. You need a music licence or permission before you switch the music on or stage an event.

It is a risk to deliberately avoid getting permission or a music licence and can be costly.

Best Practice
  • Contact OneMusic Australia to make sure you’re meeting your legal requirements to use their music. A range of licence options have been developed to suit all types of businesses.
  • Read more on copyright from an independent source, the Australian Copyright Council www.copyright.org.au
  • Ask OneMusic Australia about other ways to bundle the licence fee to get more out of music use (from background music, karaoke, playing radio and television, DJ performances, special events)

There are several types of music used in the OneMusic Hotels, Pubs, Taverns, Bars and Casinos licence scheme – music defined as Featured Recorded Music – when OneMusic’s recorded music is played prominently, for example, a DJ playing music for a retro night. OneMusic also cover licensing for Live Music Performances  - those events with just live music and those that combine a live performance and some backing tracks/recorded music. Fees are matched to music use – a percentage of your door takings or what you’re paying your artists or both.

About OneMusic Australia

OneMusic Australia is an APRA AMCOS and PPCA joint licensing initiative launched in 2019. OneMusic Australia offers joint music licences so there is no need for separate licence agreements and invoices from PPCA and APRA AMCOS. The organisation allows music users to easily meet their copyright obligations for the commercial use of OneMusic’s musical works, sound recordings and music videos.



APRA AMCOS (the Australasian Performing Right Association and the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society) is a music rights management organisation which licenses performing, communication and reproduction rights in music on behalf of more than 100,000 members and 140,000 licensees with 170 affiliated organisations worldwide.


About PPCA

PPCA (the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) is a not-for-profit collecting society which licenses rights in sound recordings and music videos on behalf of sound recording rights owners (eg record labels and recording artists).