Using CDs and music

The Copyright Act allows you to make limited use of CDs and recordings in a class or lecture but does not include provisions that allow for you to copy CDs or recordings even for educational purposes unless you record the music from a radio or TV broadcast. The Act does not make provision for the performance of music by students for educational purposes.

The University has signed a voluntary agreement, known as the Music Licence with the main music societies in Australia. This permits the copying, streaming and performance of a large range of CDs and musical works for educational purposes in return for royalty payments to the copyright owners and some restrictiosn on access.

The Music Licence

The Music Licence is a voluntary agreement between Australian universities and the main music societies, AMCOS, APRA, Aria and PPCA, to allow the use of music and sound recordings for educational purposes. The Licence involves the payment of royalties to copyright owners and eliminates the need to obtain permission from the copyright owner’s before use. The University of Sydney is a party to this agreement.

Educational purposes in the Music Licence includes the use or performance of material ‘in connection with a particular course of instruction or course of study and/or research of the Participating University, including the necessary administration and assessment of that course of instruction or study, but not including commercial activities and commercial research.’ (Music Agreement Clause 1.1)

This Licence covers the copying of sound recordings and the performance of musical works – it does not cover copying of printed music which falls under Part VB of the Copyright Act.

The four music societies involved in the Licence are:

  • AMCOS (Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society represents composers, writers and most music publishers in Australia and New Zealand. It is a collecting society and licences the reproduction of its member’s works for a range of purposes.
  • APRA (Australasian Performing Rights Association) collects royalties for the public performance and communication of music in venues such as shops, cinemas, pubs and clubs. It also licences the use of music in broadcasts by radio and television
  • ARIA is a national industry association representing Australian recording artists and the interests of the industry. It manages some licences for the use of sound recordings on behalf of its members
  • PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia) represents the interests of record companies and Australian recording artists. It is a collecting society which licenses the public performance, broadcasting and communication of sound recordings and music videos on behalf of its members