If you wish to use music in your theatre, APRA AMCOS can act as an agent on behalf of music publishers and copyright owners to secure permission and arrange a licence. This service is only possible where the music has not been specifically written for a production, which are known as Grand Right productions. In these cases, theatres will need to apply for a licence directly from the owner of Grand Right and we can help to identify the publisher or agent you need to liaise with.

Licence Info Guide

If your production occurs 1 December 2017 - 31 December 2017, current definition of Dramatic Context will apply.

However, from 1 January 2018, the definition of Dramatic Context will change.

From that date, you will need to apply for a Dramatic Context licence if you meet this new definition. Dramatic Context means the performance of musical works:

a) in conjunction with a presentation on the live stage that has:

(i) a storyline; and

(ii) one or more narrators or characters; or

b) as a ballet.

A ballet means a choreographic work having a story, plot or abstract idea devised or used for the purpose of interpretation by dancing and/or miming. Ballet does not include country or folk dancing, tap dancing or precision dancing sequences.

Grand Rights

APRA AMCOS does not have public performance rights for Grand Right productions (productions where the songs have been written expressly for the production) and is therefore not able to license such productions.

Producers will need to apply for a licence directly from the owner of Grand Right, usually a music publisher
or agent. APRA AMCOS can assist in identifying the appropriate publisher or agent.

Grand Rights include shows such as operas, operettas, oratorios, musical plays, revues and pantomimes for which the music has been specially written.

Some musical works are not available to be licensed for Dramatic Context performances (these are called Owner Restricted works). Some works must be referred by APRA to the copyright owner for approval on a case by case basis (these are called Owner Referred works). This is a decision made by the copyright owner and not by APRA AMCOS. 

My production will occur before 31 December 2017, how do I apply? 

Licence Application

Dramatic Context applications should be submitted approximately six to eight weeks prior to performance, with three weeks as a minimum. This allows for the music research required to determine copyright ownership, publishing and availability. 

To apply, please complete and return the application below directly to theatre@apra.com.au

APRA AMCOS will confirm the type licence required for your event and advise on music availability within three to five days of receiving your application (there may be slight delays during peak periods).

When all music has been approved for your production, we can then grant a licence agreement to cover the use of music for the performance period as per your application.

How much does it cost (for productions occuring 1-31 December 2017)? 

Dramatic Context licence fees are based on a percentage of gross box office takings.  This can range between 0.025% to 6% of the box office depending on the amount of music used in a production with a minimum licence fee of $82.50 (inc. GST).



Less than 1%

0.0275% (0.025%+GST)

1omore bulestha2%

0.055% (0.05%+GST)

2% omore bulestha3%

0.11% (0.1%+ GST)

3% omore bulestha5%

0.165% (0.15%+GST)

5omore bulestha10%

0.275% (0.25%+GST)

10% omore but less than 15%

0.55% (0.50%+GST)

15% omore but less tha25%

0.825% (0.75%+GST)
 25% omore but less tha35% 1.10% (1.00%+GST)

35% omore but less tha40%

1.65% (1.50%+GST)

 40% omore but less tha45% 2.20% (2.00%+GST)
 45% omore but less tha50% 2.75% (2.50%+GST)
 50% omore but less tha55% 3.30% (3.00%+GST)
 55% omore but less tha60% 4.40% (4.00%+GST)

60% omore but less tha65%

4.95% (4.50%+GST)

65% omore but less tha70%

5.50% (5.00%+GST)

70% omore but less tha80%

6.05% (5.50%+GST

80% omore

6.60% (6.00%+GST)

For example:

Duration of Musical work(s): 120 seconds
Total Production Duration: 3600 seconds
Music Use Percentage (120 ÷ 3600): 3.33%
Relevant Percentage: 0.165% (0.15%+GST)
Licence Fee = Gross Box Office Takings x 0.15% + GST

*Restricted works approved publisher(s) are charged at a rate determined by the publisher. These are generally based on a percentage of box office takings pro rata (based on Total Production Duration or Total Music Duration).

My production will occur after 31 December 2017, how do I apply? 

Licence Application

Need more information?

We’re here to help you, please contact our Theatrical Licensing Team on (03) 9426 5223 or theatre@apra.com.au.

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