A typical Australian evening in a pub, gym or some hanging out places would be more beautiful with music playing in the background. But, is anyone aware of the fact that one needs to have permission to play music in these public spaces? Yes, in most cases, businesses including pubs, gyms, shops, dance schools, and child care services require permission to play music for their customers. Music licensing in Australia, or any other country for that matter, is done by a music rights organisation in the country. Through that, one gets permission to use copyrighted music in the public space, without which it should be against Australian law. One should get several permits before starting a new business, and a music license is a mandatory one. 

Playing Music in a Public Space

Unlike playing music at home, playing music in a business space, especially for customers, needs permission from the one who has the copyright. In most cases, the user of the music will get permission through a license issued for the specific type of music they want to use for a business or any other purpose. Some of the public platforms or ventures that require music licensing in Australia are retail stores, bars, child care services, gyms, cafes, theatres, cinemas, hair salons, dance schools, etc. 

Using copyrighted music as background music in videos, films, etc., also requires permission. Playing them at a conference, concert, community event, or even in a live-streamed class would fall under copyright infringement under Australian copyright policies. Playing copyright-protected music on the radio, television, or digital platforms also requires a license from the owners of the music.

How to get a music license?

Before getting a music license, it is important to know that there are different kinds of music licenses. The most common one is a public performance music license normally held by those who run businesses and organisations using copyright-protected music. One can get permission for using copyright-protected music from the owner of the music by paying them directly. Or, one can obtain a license from a music rights organisation in Australia, enabling them to use a majority of the world’s music. The creators of the music will be paid from these license fees. It is through the music rights organisations that the money is transferred to Australia for producing Australian music overseas. 

How much does a music license cost?

Music license cost depends upon how the music is used in the business. Music licensing in Australia can cost as little as $100 for a year. Music licenses are issued and charged after considering how the music will be used so that the user only has to pay for a particular type of music. People use music to play it in the background of a cafe or any other shop for that matter to create an ambience. This use is completely different from using it in a live event or concert, so the charges also vary. One who applies for the license has the option to pick from different license schemes. Make sure you have a valid music license before starting a business; otherwise, copyright infringement can be costlier!