Local Council Licensing

If your local council performs music in public, it can sometimes be a time consuming and difficult task to determine the licences you need and to find the appropriate rights owners for all of the music that your council may wish to use. However PPCA in conjunction with APRA AMCOS is here to help. We hope that our new proposed joint licence scheme will remove the administrative and legal burden from local councils and allow you to continue to focus on providing great services to your communities.


The Local Government Sector Music Licensing Review

PPCA together with APRA AMCOS, has been reviewing the music licensing arrangements for the local government sector.
For more information and background on the consultation, please click here

We also need your help to better understand your music licensing requirements. To begin this consultation, a short survey has been created to look at the needs of local councils and their music use.

We would be grateful if you could please complete the short survey to assist us with this review: Begin Survey

APRA AMCOS will collate the survey results and will share the results with PPCA.


What are your music licensing obligations?

Under the Copyright Act (1968) there are two distinct rights inherent in a piece of music:

  1. the first is the musical work, which is owned by the composer(s) of that work; and
  2.  the second is the copyright which applies to each separate recorded version of a musical work (which is referred to as a sound recording).

A composer may assign certain rights to a music publisher, while a recording artist may assign their rights to a record label. In Australia these rights are usually then assigned or licensed to a collective rights management body – in the case of the musical work to APRA AMCOS (Australasian Performing Right Association and Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners’ Society) and in the case of sound recordings to PPCA (Phonographic Performance Company of Australia). In the case of sound recordings – you can obtain a licence from each of the owners of the sound recordings that you wish to use or you can obtain a blanket licence from PPCA.

The Copyright Act (1968) stipulates that the owner of copyright has the exclusive right to reproduce, publish, perform in public, communicate to the public and make an adaptation. The copyright is infringed by a person who, without a licence from the owner of the copyright, does or authorises the doing of any act comprised in the copyright. A court is able to grant injunctive relief or damages for infringement of these rights.


Local Government Sector

It is our understanding that a local government authority is responsible for achieving the best outcome for its local community by promoting social, economic and environmental viability and sustainability along with ensuring that resources are used efficiently and effectively. We also understand that services are provided to improve the overall quality of life of the people in the local community and in accordance with the Best Value Principles to best meet the needs of that local community. A local government must also ensure that services and facilities are equitable and accessible to all members within the community.  

In delivering services to their communities, local governments use music in a wide variety of ways, including as background music in Council shop fronts, in Council-run events and concerts, and as music on hold.



APRA AMCOS and PPCA have policies to consult, where appropriate, with relevant industry bodies and music customers when developing and implementing new or revised licence schemes for the use of music. We have found that receiving input from the music users allows us to better understand how music is used and applied practically. This approach is also useful in that it ensures that our clients have a better understanding of where the payments flow and the purpose of such licences, which in turn leads to improved ongoing relationships. 

We hope that you take the time to read the detailed consultation letter above and also complete the survey.

Rather that obtaining individual licences from APRA AMCOS and PPCA (or the various sound recording copyright owners), the intention of the joint APRA AMCOS and PPCA music licence scheme for the local government sector is to make it easier for your local council to access and use music -  with less administration and paperwork for you.

If you would like to discuss this further or would like to arrange a meeting, please contact us via the details below.


For further information please contact:

APRA AMCOS: David Sheils

| (02) 9935 7785 | dsheils@apra.com.au |  www.apraamcos.com.au

PPCA: Rohini Sivakumar

| (02) 8569 1100 | rsivakumar@ppca.com.au | www.ppca.com.au



PPCA is a non-profit member organisation that provides licences to Australian businesses to play recorded music in public. PPCA offers blanket licences that cover thousands of record labels and millions of recordings across a vast range of genres. Each year all of PPCA’s net licence fees are distributed back to the record labels and Australian artists who created the recordings, so that they can continue to create recordings for us all to enjoy.



APRA AMCOS is a non-profit member organisation with more than 87,000 members who are songwriters, composers and music publishers. APRA AMCOS licenses organisations to play, perform, copy, record or make available its members’ music. We then distribute the royalties paid under those licences to our members and affiliate societies.