Judge rules in favour of APRA AMCOS in copyright infringement case against QLD music venue

In June 2023 in a case between APRA AMCOS and the owner of a Queensland live music venue, Federal Circuit Court Judge Manousaridis ruled that the copyright in certain musical works (songs, compositions) was infringed by the owner of that venue. APRA is part of the OneMusic licensing initiative.

This case is an example of how a failure to hold a $2,000 music licence can turn into significant costs for a business that plays music administered by APRA without that licence.

OneMusic Australia is a joint initiative of APRA AMCOS and PPCA, and is authorised by both organisations to issue licences for the use of APRA works, AMCOS works and PPCA sound recordings.

OneMusic made almost a dozen attempts to educate and inform the owner of the venue over a lengthy period of time.

In addition to having to pay compensatory damages, interest and APRA's legal costs of nearly $12,500, the court has also imposed a further $40,000 in additional damages and an injunction on the operator of the venue, preventing him from playing music administered by APRA without holding a licence to do so.

The Judge found that:

The respondent has been flagrant in his infringement of APRA’s performing rights in the music that has been, and is continuing to be performed at the Premises.

The Judge stated in his judgement that the declaration of specific acts of copyright infringement in this case would “Communicate to the public the kinds of acts that constitute infringement of copyright of musical and literary works and deter persons from engaging".


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