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 as long as only University of Sydney staff and students are present (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.

Note that the Copyright Act does not permit the copying and communication of spoken word and other non-music CDs and sound recordings for educational purposes. The copyright owner’s permission is needed for this.

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 CDs and sound recordings and to distribute these to staff and students for educational purposes
  • make compilation CDs of recorded music and distribute these to students and staff for analysis as part of a course of instruction or any other classroom related or based activities
  • make copies of CDs and sound recordings and stream these to students and staff via a secure network but downloading is NOT permitted
  • CDs and sound recordings must be copied into the following approved formats – cassettes, compact discs, CD Recordable, DVD Recordable and IT system drives
  • copying must be carried out from an original recording and not from an illegal or pirated copy or from one downloaded from the Internet

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:

  • copy a sound recording that has been downloaded from the Internet even if the recording was a legitimate download
  • make copied sound recordings available to students in a downloadable format including email
  • broadcast any musical work or sound recording
  • make or burn infringing copies of works or CDs
  • 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 CDs & making compilation CDs

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 CD or you can copy individual tracks from a range of CDs to make a compilation CD of the material your students need to study or analyse.

There are some conditions and limitations:

  • the copy must be made from an original recording – you cannot copy from a recording downloaded from the internet even if it is a legal download
  • the source recording or CD must come from the repertoire of the societies
  • copies of the CD can be located in a Library but must only be used by University staff and students
  • copies of the CD can be distributed to students free of charge or they can be sold to students on a cost recovery basis
  • 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 CDs & sound recordings are included in the repertoire of the societies?

The Music Licence gives very broad coverage, and thus provides a high degree of certainty those 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 CD or 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.

Streaming CDs

Under the Music Licence University staff can arrange for sound recordings and CDs to be copied and streamed to students under the following conditions:

  • the recording is from the repertoire of the societies
  • the file has been created from an original recording and has not been created from a file downloaded from the internet
  • the material is being used for educational purposes
  • access to the music files is via a secure network restricted to University staff and students
  • the files are made available for listening purposes only, i.e. downloading is not permitted
  • files cannot be emailed to students
  • a copy of the Music Licence Notice must be displayed before the sound files opens.

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 Conservatorium of Music operates a streaming service for its users. Other faculties planning to stream music should discuss copyright compliance and survey requirements with the Director of Copyright Services before implementing the service.

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

Under s28 of the Copyright Act you have the right to play a CD in a lecture. However, in the past you could not record the lecture if it contained music from a commercial CD unless you had recorded the music from a radio or TV broadcast under Part VA.

Now under the Music Licence you can record the lecture as long as the music used is from the repertoires of the societies. You can stream this lecture to students but you must ensure that the Music Licence Notice is displayed and labelling requirements are met. Remember that the students can only listen to the lecture - they cannot download it. The Music Licence does not permit any downloading of streamed music.