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Music copyright What do eisteddfods and competitions need to know?

APRA AMCOS are changing the way eisteddfods and competitions pay for the use of music, We have stripped out what we thought was relevant to the dance industry and published it below, please note that The Association Eisteddfod Societies of Australia Inc.negotiated these changes for the whole industry and not just their members.

A recorded song is made up of different aspects which need licences for each use. A writer creates the musical work (lyrics, composition), whereas a performer creates the sound recording. The new blanket licence solution will cover the use of music and sound recordings at eisteddfods. The four societies below represent music creators and publishers:

APRA: performance of music in general, live and pre-recorded.
AMCOS ARIA: copying music within a competition and when filming DVDs of the dances for purchase.
PPCA: playing of pre-recorded music (previously not covered).

What is an Eisteddfod?
An Eisteddfod is a competition in the arts, organised and presented by a noncommercial body run predominantly by volunteers. Events deemed commercial in nature will not be licensed under the new scheme.

Why does an eisteddfod need a licence, doesn’t the dance school have one?
Every time a song is played and/or copied, live or pre-recorded, the writers/publishers and performers/record label must be compensated. Dance schools have a licence agreement allowing them to play and copy music for use within the school. An eisteddfod is a separate entity and therefore needs a separate licence.

What does the new licence cover?
The new scheme covers everything from live performances of copyright musical works, the playing of copyright sound recordings as backing tracks and the copying of sound recordings by entrants to use as backing tracks for their dances.

Having a blanket scheme will ensure all relevant parties are compensated and make it easy for eisteddfods and competitions to adhere to Copyright law. Previously there was a flat rate regardless of how many times copyright sound recordings and musical works were used throughout an eisteddfod. Considering this licence hasn’t been reviewed in 30 years, the new licence will now accurately reflect the use of music in all forms at each eisteddfod.

How do the changes affect eisteddfods?
Some eisteddfods may already have a licensing agreement with any of the above societies or be a member of The Association Eisteddfod Societies of Australia Inc.

The new licensing scheme is based on a per entry basis at $0.90+gst per entry. For AESA members the cost is $0.76+gst per entry.
An entry is defined as being one person or one group entering one event.

For example:
If your eisteddfod has a total of 200 solo entries and 75 total group entries over all eisteddfod events, then your fee will be 275 x $0.90 = $247.50+gst.
Note: A dancer entering three different events would be considered as 3 entries.

Fees payable will be introduced over a four-year period increasing to $2.75 per entry (AESA members $2.20).

What if I didn’t know?
Some eisteddfods and competitions may have been unaware their music use, in full or part, was unlicensed and therefore in breach of Copyright law. If this is the case there will be no retrospective charges but do get in touch this year.

How do I make sure the eisteddfod is covered?
1. Direct through APRA AMCOS
2. As a member of AESA – with payment of your licence fee direct to AESA
(around May each year). AESA members are entitled to a discount of 20% (+gst) per entry.

How will they know which songs are played at each eisteddfod?
Fees from Eisteddfods licences go into royalty pools and are distributed according to data collected on music from radio stations, ARIA chart placings, live performance reports, music video channels and educational programs.
Sections with all Royalty Free music will be not be included in the entry count for the licence.

Where does the money go?
The licence fees are distributed economically and accurately. Expenses are deducted by the societies and then the revenue received is distributed to the songwriters, composers and music publishers whose works have been licensed to the eisteddfod. This means for every dollar collected, about 85 cents is returned to music creators.

Who do I contact?
If you require any assistance, please contact APRA AMCOS on 03 9426 5219 or or AESA on