Using CDs & recordings

Uses permitted under the Copyright Act

Under the Copyright Act you can use sound recordings for educational purposes in the following ways:

  • you can play a sound recording in a class (under s28 of the Act)
  • you can record music from a radio or TV broadcast received in Australia and use this for educational purposes under Part VA of the Act see TV & radio broadcasts for more information.

Uses permitted under the Music Licence

Provided the recordings are included in the repertoire of the societies, the Music Licence allows the following activities:

University staff can:

  • make copies of sound recordings in any format and distribute these to staff and students for educational purposes
  • make compilations of recorded music and distribute these to students and staff for analysis as part of a course of instruction or any other classroom related activity
  • make copies of sound recordings available to students and staff for streaming and or download via a secure network

University staff and students can:

  • use recorded music in a PowerPoint presentation for a course of study provided the labelling requirements are met
  • staff and students of the University may also synchronise recordings from the societies’ repertoires in a film or video made as part of a course of instruction or in a video of a University Event

The University can:

  • play CDs and sound recordings for educational purposes and at University events
  • play CDs and sound recordings for the benefit of employees in the workplace
  • play music on hold on phones throughout the University

Activities not permitted under the Music Licence

The Music Licence does not allow the University to:

  • broadcast any musical work or sound recording to the public
  • copy any music from films or DVDs - you can copy music from radio and TV broadcasts received in Australia under Part VA
  • copy, play or perform sound recordings or music outside the repertoire of the societies
  • copy any associated copyright material such as lyrics, CD covers, sheet music – limited amounts of this material can be copied for educational purposes under Part VB

Marking requirements

Copies made under the Music Licence must be labelled with the Music Licence Notice and information on the contents of the new recording:

This recording has been made by the University of Sydney under the express  terms of an educational licence between it, ARIA, AMCOS, APRA and PPCA and may only be used as authorised by the University of Sydney pursuant to the terms of that licence.

The following information on each musical work included on the recording must be listed:

  • title of each musical work
  • name of each composer, lyricist and arranger of the musical work
  • if the recording contains an ARIA sound recording , the artist or group name and the record company label

Copying sound recordings

Under the Music Licence, University staff can copy recordings from the ARIA and AMCOS repertoires for educational purposes including teaching and research.

You can copy an entire album or you can copy individual tracks from a range of albums to make a compilation of the material your students need to study or analyse.

There are some conditions and limitations:

  • all copies must be created from a legitimate source
  • the source recording must come from the repertoire of the societies
  • all copies made must carry the Music Licence Notice and the Music Contents List of material included on the CD

How do I find out if sound recordings are included in the repertoire of the societies?

The Music Licence gives very broad coverage. Most CDs or musical works can be safely used in the ways provided for in the Licence.

However, it does not provide 100% coverage of musical works but the coverage of local and overseas record labels is extensive. If you are aware that a particular CD or sound recording is not covered, then you should not use the work without obtaining the permission of the copyright owner.

If you want to establish if a particular sound recording is covered by the Music Licence, check the record label against the ARIA record label list (pdf)

If the record label you need to copy is not on the ARIA list, contact to discuss alternative courses of action.

Access to sound recordings

Under the Music Licence, the University can copy and communicate sound recordings in all formats for educational purposes. The following conditions apply:

  • all copies must be created from a legitimate source
  • the sound recording is from the repertoire of the societies
  • the material is being used for educational purposes
  • access to the sound recordings is via a secure network restricted to University staff and students only (e.g. streaming, download, email)
  • a copy of the Music Licence Notice must be displayed

The following information for each musical work included on the recording must be listed:

  • title of each musical work
  • name of each composer, lyricist and arranger of the musical work
  • if the recording contains an ARIA sound recording, the artist or group name and the record company label.

Annual survey of use of music under the Licence

The Music Licence provides for an annual survey of the sound recordings that have been copied and located in a digital repository as at 1st October each year.

The University Library operates a streaming service for University students and staff. Faculties planning to stream music recordings should contact .

Can I play a sound recording in a lecture? Do I need to make special arrangements if I want to record the lecture?

You can play sound recordings in lectures under s28 of the Copyright Act.

If you are recording the lecture, you can play and record sound recordings under the the Music Licence. You must check that the music is from the repertoire of the societies, and display the Music Licence Notice.