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Copyright: Other (non-educational) uses of copyright-protected material

How to legally use music and video content at University events for staff, students, and the general public.

Music in public

The University has an agreement (Tertiary Music Licence) with the music copyright collecting societies that covers the performance of music at free University events. This includes live musical performances by students or staff.


However, some restrictions apply. The University holds both an APRA and a PPCA licence, but if you are not sure if it will cover your film screening event, please contact them to determine your licensing options.

  • For example, if your concert or event is intended to be profit-making, the terms of the licence/agreement may not apply.
  • The licence does not cover performances of dramatic musical works such as musicals, opera, and operetta, referred to in the licence as “grand rights works”. 
    • If you wish to perform an opera or musical theatre work that is still in copyright, you must contact the rights holders directly.
  • The licence does not cover the performance of musical works in a “dramatic context”. 
    • If you think your planned performance might constitute “dramatic context”, contact APRA’s Theatrical Licensing section to clarify. 
    • If it is, you will have to negotiate directly with the rights holders

Student-run events

Events organised by student organisations such as student unions and guilds that have a separate legal entity from the University are not covered by the Tertiary Music Licence.  Such organisations are responsible for obtaining their own licences.

Activities not permitted under the Music Licence

The terms of the licence agreement do not include the right to:

  • download any copyright musical works from material made available via the University's Intranet or online teaching systems;
  • reproduce, download, forward or otherwise convey to any other parties all or part of any copyright musical work via the Internet or email systems;
  • reproduce, communicate, transmit or perform an infringing copy of any copyright sound recording (e.g. a sound recording that has been obtained or downloaded illegitimately, and is therefore itself in breach of copyright);
  • reproduce any cinematograph film or any literary, dramatic or artistic work (including the lyrics associated with musical works in graphic form);
  • broadcast any musical work or sound recording;
  • make any unauthorised recordings or video recordings or performances contrary to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth);
  • make reproductions of copyright musical works for the sole or dominant purpose of delivering these reproductions either via the Intranet or to the public via the Internet; or make reproductions available to a student or third party for such a Prohibited Use.
  • perform a copyright musical work in public at any event where a fee for entry is charged; or where the University's premises have been let for hire or otherwise to a third party (including a student group) other than for the educational purpose of the University.