At APRA|AMCOS we recognise the huge role that music plays in schools, whether it is in classrooms, assemblies, presentation evenings, musicals or on the school ‘on-hold’ telephone system. This is why we have put in place three blanket licences to cover the use of music in schools:
All government schools are automatically covered by the Department of Education licences in each State or Territory, while Catholic and Independent and other non-government schools must opt in through their peak governing body. If you are not sure if your school is covered, contact our Educational Licensing Department at
This licence will cover you for:
If you are performing a musical it is important to determine if it is a Grand Right work (an opera, operetta, musical play (such as Grease), revue or pantomime) as this usage falls outside the scope of this licence, and you will need to contact the copyright owner directly for licensing if the work is protected by copyright. Similarly, you will need publisher permission if performing a large choral work of over 20 minutes.
In addition to the above, if you are a secondary school and are performing musical works in a dramatic context, you may require additional licensing if you are charging admission for your performance. If so, contact our Theatrical Licensing Representative on .
Schools are lucky in that they are the only institutions in Australia that are covered by an AMCOS music photocopying licence. All other types of educational institutions such as universities, TAFEs and commercial colleges need to get permission from the copyright owner or rely on the statutory licence administered by CAL for their photocopying uses, (which, generally only permits the copying of a reasonable portion (10%) of a commercially available print music work).
Copying limits for schools under the AMCOS licence:
Number of Copies per original owned by the school or teacher
Separately Published Work
30 (primary schools), 15 (secondary schools)
Chamber Music Works
A maximum of 10 parts
A total of 30 instrumental parts e.g. 15 copies of a trumpet part, 10 copies of a trombone part, 5 copies of a clarinet part
Vocal Score or Collection of Works
30 copies for a primary school/15 copies for a secondary school of up to 3 songs from a score or collection
You can make a transcription of the lyrics or melody line, or a transposition from an original score of an AMCOS work by hand or using software such as Sibelius or Finale and make up to 30 (primary) copies or 15 (secondary) for these transcriptions/transpositions.
Under the agreement, every copy you make needs to be marked with the imprint of a stamp - or similar - the notice specified in the agreement. Originals must also be marked.
This licence covers you to:
See the Guide to Music in Schools for more information.
All copies of musical works and sound recordings must have a copying notification on them. Click here for the notification.
No audio or audio-visual recording made under this licence may be shared by way of the Internet, public screenings, competitions, film festivals, TV, radio or online broadcasts or any other means.
Please note that no advertising or promotional material or any other matter intended to encourage the purchase must be included on this recording.
To be able to distribute royalties from the educational licence fees, we need to know what kinds of music are being used in schools. However, asking teachers to report all their use every day is impractical to say the least. For these reasons we have a survey system in conjunction with CAL and Screenrights. This is conducted by an independent statistician who surveys a certain number of schools each term to obtain the data we need to be able to distribute royalties. We survey 180 Australian schools each year for one term for their photocopying and electronic use, so schools are highly unlikely to have to participate in this survey more than once every eight years.
If you have been chosen to participate and have any questions about the requirements of the survey, feel free to contact us.
Our Educational Licensing Department is always available to answer any questions you may have regarding the way you use music in your school. Give us a call on (02) 9935 7900 or send us an email at
Have some questions? Check out our Frequently Asked Questions page for more information.
Copyright Advisory Group – www.smartcopying.edu.au
Australian Copyright Council – www.copyright.org.au
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