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APRA License confusion

Discussion in 'Music, Playlists & Broadcasting' started by tom82, Dec 14, 2012.

  1. tom82

    tom82 New Elf

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    I've been informed by various forum members that you can get an APRA license for free for Christmas light displays. After speaking with APRA I am informed the license costs $55.

    Apparently the license is only free if the music is for "personal use only". If the public can "use" the music (i.e. hear it) then the $55 license is needed.

    Email from APRA below. Does anyone have a view on this?????????



    ----
    Tom

    Thank you for your email-

    APRA Narrowcast Licenses are for music usage that is broadcasted through radio.

    All Complimentary licences have a specific criteria to be met in order to be issued.

    If the lights on your property work in conjunction with music, and this is for personal use, then no APRA licence is needed as APRA does not licence events that are private. If the lights on your property work in conjunction with music, and this is for a public event, then an APRA licence will need to be taken out as this music usage in now classified as a public performance- APRA licenses all public performance of copyright musical work.

    APRA only issues its minimum fee for events of this nature.
    --------
     
  2. Kaden

    Kaden Pixels! I need more pixels!

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    I only do my Christmas lights for my friends and family, if people I don't know happen to see it, that's not my fault :p


    You need to clarify with APRA what "for a public event" means, I am assuming (but don't quote me at all) that a public event would have some commercial motivation behind (ie advertising, tickets, promotion).
     
  3. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    I got a Complimentary(free) Narrowcast license.....

    Took a little explaining what I was after, but after that it was "Oh, we've done a few of these already this year"....

    Small/limited geographic area - not intended to be heard if you can't see the lights, so literally in front of my house using radio and/or low-power speakers.
    No commercial involvement at all - personal equipment, no advertising etc, personally funded.
    Limited time period - basically December + test and teardown periods between 1800h and 2200h (my show is shorter than that still).

    Does that help?

    Cheers!
     
  4. OP
    OP
    tom82

    tom82 New Elf

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    I had a phone discussion with APRA.

    They said if you've got music with your lights, and that the music is specifically designed for the public to see (i.e. speakers strategically placed around the garden versus just people overhearing music from your living room) then you'll need a license.


    If it were a party in your backyard, then you wouldn't need the license for example - because you don't intend "the public" to come by and benefit from the music.


    In the end, it's a $55 fee which isn't going to break the bank so I paid for the license to be sure.


    Thanks for the replies
     
  5. OP
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    tom82

    tom82 New Elf

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    I did clarify this. Their definition of a public event is one where the public are viewing the event. It doesn't relate to whether or not you charge entry or collect ticket revenue in some other way - it's based on who is going to be viewing it. If you play music at a party then you can define that as personal use, since the broader public (beyond your invitee list) is generally unable to view/hear it.
     
  6. MarcD

    MarcD Full Time Elf

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    I'm happy to pay $55 to ensure I'm legal. How do I go about buying a license?
     
  7. ryanschristmaslights

    ryanschristmaslights Senior Elf Administrator Generous Elf

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    Did you clarify that you were speaking to the right person, who deals with Australian-issued licences? As I am aware of NZ-issued licences that do need to pay a small fee.
     
  8. OP
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    tom82

    tom82 New Elf

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    Yes they were aware of the location and went through all the details
     
  9. Benschristmaslights

    Benschristmaslights Dedicated Elf Global Moderator Generous Elf

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    well i told them all the same details and got a licence for free
     
  10. Bevo

    Bevo Let your Light Shine before men

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    Same
     
  11. Beacy

    Beacy It's so much better on the dark side

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    On my licence



    I understand your service will be self-funding, equipment used for the broadcast is to be donated and the service
    will not be transmitting any paid advertisements sporsponsorship announcements.
    On this basis I am pleased to confirm APRA's grant to your organisation of a complimentary radio broadcasting
    licence for the period:


    Gabrielle Bowers
    (02) 9935-7900
    gbowers@apra.com.au
     
  12. penguineer

    penguineer Full Time Elf

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    Unless they've just started trying to cover the cost of their staff dealing with all these people with christmas lights?

    A once-off $55 sounds sorta like a half or three-quarter hour charge-out.....and taking a couple of calls like that in a day can end up leaving a few holes in office productivity.....

    Particularly as there hasn't been any mention of their usual reporting requirements(as in what songs, how many times, over what period).

    Cheers!
     
  13. Kaden

    Kaden Pixels! I need more pixels!

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    So let me get this right:

    - Organisation is created to protect musicians income and rights.
    - Christmas Light people buy their Christmas music to use I their displays.
    - Organisation recognises these people and licenses for free as these people do it for free and have already paid for the music.
    - Organisation incurs to much cost making free licenses starts charging for previously free license to cover admin fees.

    How exactly is this in the best interest of the artist or the consumer?
     

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