Who needs a Showreels licence?
Agencies, businesses and individuals (freelancers) who create advertisements for clients, audio-visual programs, promos for radio stations, and other clients need a showreel licence if they are using them for promotional reasons on their own website.
When a production or showreel is streamed from an agency's website, the responsibility of 'streaming' i.e. the communication right, falls on the individual or company who owns the website - in the same way a TV station holds a communication licence to broadcast musical works to the public.
I have already paid for the music. Why do I need another licence?
The ‘reproduction’ of the musical work into the original production, is what you've most likely paid for. This fee would have been for the specific purpose of making the advertisement, audio-visual program or radio promo - not for the purpose of showcasing your work as an agency, a director, editor, producer, creative, and the like.
In most cases the original licensing of music in these productions only covers the agency for the reproduction. Our Showreels licence covers the communication of musical works online. It does not cover rights you may have previously paid for.
Who qualifies for the fees of $100?
Anyone making available online showreels which only contain production music
If I commissioned the musical work for the production, am I already licensed?
In most cases tracks are commissioned solely for the reproduction (i.e. to be used in an ad). The composer/publisher still owns the right to the communication of the work, which APRA AMCOS administers. In this case you will still need to take out the showreel licence to cover you for the communication. However if an APRA AMCOS member chooses to 'licence back' their work, they can deal directly with you for the licensing of the communication right. In such cases, the commissioned writer must contact APRA AMCOS to complete a license back.
What if the music is ‘buy out library’ or ‘royalty free’ music?
‘Royalty free’ and ‘buy out library’ music may still need to be licensed. Composers rarely give up all their rights when you purchase a buy out library. In most cases, this music has no ‘reproduction’ rights attached (i.e. anyone can reproduce the music into an ad), but they still retain their ‘communication’ right. If the composer is a member of a performing rights organisation, they have essentially given the performing rights organisation the right to administer the communication rights of their works. In these instances, additional licensing by APRA AMCOS, to communicate the track on your website is still required. Be sure to read the terms and conditions when you purchase any ‘royalty free’ music.
The music on my website is Production Music, which I purchased.
The purchasing of Production Music only covers the reproduction of the musical works for the initial purpose i.e. to make an advertisement. It does not cover the purpose of highlighting an agency's work in a showreel - which in itself is a new form of advertisement – or the right to communicate the work to the public. When a production or showreel is communicated to the public (streamed) from a website – similarly to being broadcast on TV - the responsibility of licensing this communicated music falls on the content provider - in this case, the host of the website. If you only have Production Music on your website, you may qualify for Tier One on the Showreels Licence ($100 incl. GST).
What if I composed the music on my website?
As an APRA AMCOS member you have granted us the exclusive right to administer the communication of their musical works. There are provisions to ‘license back’ their works for a specific purpose. If this is something you would like to pursue, you should contact our membership department.
In cases where you may have co-written a song, all writers must agree to license back that work, before any direct dealings can take place regarding the communication right.
For any musical works on your website that are not composed by you, you will still need to take out the showreels licence for the communication of these works.
What if I don't get a licence?
Services that use copyright music without first obtaining a licence from the relevant rights holder may be infringing on their copyright. This could lead to the individual or business being subject to legal proceedings for copyright infringement.