How do I know if my university is covered by the APRA/AMCOS/ARIA Universities’ Licence?
All universities represented by Universities Australia (formerly the Australian Vice-Chancellors’ Council) are covered by the APRA/AMCOS/ARIA Universities’ Licence. See www.universitiesaustralia.edu.au to see the universities and affiliated institutions represented by Universities’ Australia.
NOTE: All answers to the below questions are based on the assumption that the university in question is covered by the Universities’ Licence. Contact APRA|AMCOS if you are not sure if your university is covered.
Are we allowed to play background music in our student services offices such as the health service department?
If the department or service is run by the university and its employees – not as a private business – and patrons are restricted to university staff and students only – not to the general public – then the Universities’ Licence will cover you to play background music in the workplace.
If the department or services doesn’t qualify for this, you will need to get a Background Music Licence from our Licensing Department ().
We have a University radio station. Can we broadcast under this licence?
If the station is accessible by the public then you will need a Broadcast Licence and the Universities’ Licence won’t cover you. If you are making a mock broadcast across the intranet or university PA system, this will be covered under the Universities’ Licence.
Can we download or forward recordings or sheet music by email?
No, the licence currently does not extend towards file sharing – except streaming on the intranet – or downloading from the Internet.
Can I stream music on our intranet for listening exams?
Yes, as long as it is password and log in protected, only accessible by staff and students of that university and for educational purposes only. You cannot stream simply for entertainment purposes.
The copies you put on the intranet system need to have a notification on them.
Can we film graduation ceremonies if there is music in them? Can we sell them to students?
Yes, under your licence you are permitted to film university events such as graduation ceremonies and concerts. You can then sell these to staff and students for cost price or below for their own personal and domestic use. You need to have a notification on each copy you make.
An assignment for our multimedia course is to make a short film. Does the licence cover this and can the students enter their films in film festivals after the course is over?
The licence will cover what is called the ‘synchronisation’ of audio and visual – that is, putting music into a film – as long as it is for educational purposes only and in the course of instruction. If the students then want to submit their films to external festivals, competitions, panels or screenings, for example, they will need to get permission from the copyright owner, who is usually a publisher, to do so. They can contact our Educational Liensing Department for assistance in finding out who the copyright owner is.
Can we use music on our phone hold systems and if so, can we record our students and use this recording?
Yes, your licence covers the use of music on hold. If you want to use a recording of your students, this is fine as long as you have their permission to do so.
Can we make arrangements or change lyrics?
There is no blanket licence that covers this and AMCOS has no mandate to licence the creation of arrangements or lyric changes. You will need to get permission from the copyright owner to do so.
Can we have live performers at the University Open Day?
Yes, as long as the event is being run by the University and not a third party – such as a student union.
Are student-run organisations covered by this licence?
No, if students have created their own union or organisation they are not considered to be acting on behalf of the university, nor for educational purposes. So their music use will need to be separately licensed, for example the University Students Wind Orchestra will need casual performance licences for their performances.
Can we film a Grand Right Work or Dramatic Context work under our licence?
No, you need to contact the copyright owner for permission to do this.
Can we perform a Grand Right work or Dramatic Context work?
No, similarly to above, our licence does not grant this right so you will need to contact the copyright owner for direct licensing.
Can we photocopy sheet music?
This licence does not extend this right as AMCOS does not have the mandate from publishers to licence the photocopying of music to anyone except primary and secondary schools. University students therefore need to rely upon statutory exemptions for research and study under the Copyright Act (1968). There is more information on this on the Copyright Council of Australia’s website.
Please note that these answers assume the university in question is a Participating University as represented by Universities Australia. See our Guide to Copyright in Universities for more information.
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