Tertiary Music Licence

The University of South Australia is signatory to a commercial music licence negotiated by Universities Australia and the Music Collecting Societies, which allows participating universities to reproduce and/or perform music from an extensive repertoire of musical works, for educational purposes and at University events. There are no limits on how much of a work may be copied, only the circumstances in which music can be copied or performed.

Search the APRA/AMCOS website for musical works covered by the Tertiary Music Licence repertoire.

  • Music can only be copied or used from a legitimate source (e.g. tracks purchased on CD or downloaded from online stores such as iTunes).
  • Access must be restricted to members of the University of South Australia community.
  • Copies of recordings (or their packaging) must display the Prescribed Notice and copyright information.
  • Music copied in reliance on the University's Music Licence may be made available on DVD, CD, deposited in the University Library or placed on a secure server for student listening. Access must not be given to the general public.
  • Create audio or video recordings featuring music:
    • of student work
    • for class-related use (e.g. analysis, review, or to complete an assignment)
    • of University events.
  • Synchronise music with a video recording:
    • to be used in connection with a course of instruction and/or research
    • to be played at events organised or authorised by the University of South Australia (e.g. open days, graduation ceremonies, student exhibitions) where no fee is charged.
  • Disseminate audio or video recordings with music by:
    • emailing to staff or students for class-related use
    • placing on a secure server (such as LearnOnline/Moodle) for streaming or downloading
    • creating compilation CDs/DVDs for members of the University community (e.g. staff, students, relatives) for personal use, at no charge or a cost-recovery charge only
    • depositing in the University's archives.
  • Play or perform music:
    • for class-related use (e.g. analysis, review, or student performances as part of course requirements)
    • at events organised or authorised by the University of South Australia (e.g. open days, graduation ceremonies, student exhibitions) where no fee is charged
    • as background music in workplaces and areas administered by the University (areas managed by third parties such as commercial or student organisations on campus are not covered).
  • Reproduce cinematographic films or videos, including music videos (you may be able to do this under the Educational License).
  • Broadcast any musical work or sound recording.
  • Copy print (sheet) music.
  • Perform music where the University's premises have been let for hire or otherwise to a third party, staff member or student for non-educational purposes.
  • Perform or play music in public.
  • Copy and communicate musical works not covered by the Music Collecting Societies' repertoire.
  • Record or perform Grand Right (e.g. ballets, operettas), Dramatic (e.g. plays) or choral works.
  • Reproduce, communicate or perform infringing copies (e.g. copies which have been downloaded or obtained illegally and are in breach of copyright).
  • Substitute lyrics with alternative words, or perform the music and associated lyrics as a form of parody or satire.

If you provide students with teaching materials or recordings of University events that contain excerpts of copyright music, the teaching resource/recording or its packaging must carry the following Notice:

This recording has been made by the University of South Australia under the express terms of an educational licence between it, ARIA, AMCOS, APRA and PPCA and may only be used as authorized by the University of South Australia pursuant to the terms of that licence.

The following information must also be included:

  • title of each musical work
  • composer, lyricist and arranger of the musical work
  • if ARIA sound recording, the artist/group name, and the record company label.

If you don't know the source of the work, you need to indicate this with the following statement:

Source unknown. All reasonable efforts have been taken to identify the copyright owner of this material. If you are the copyright owner or know who they are, please contact

Copying sheet music for inclusion in an examination paper

Under Section 200(1) of the Copyright Act, you may copy up to the whole of a piece of sheet music for inclusion in an examination paper. For more information about copying for exam, please refer to What is 'Fair Dealing'?

Performing music in class

Section 28 of the Copyright Act allows staff and students of the University to perform or play a musical work or sound recording in class, provided that:

  • only a legitimately-purchased recording of the music is used
  • the performance forms part of the class, and the performance is restricted to students enrolled in that class.

If you wish to make a recording of the performance, you may do so only as permitted under the University's Music Licence.

Copying sheet music for teaching purposes

Under the University's Educational Licence, you may copy limited amounts of printed sheet music for inclusion in course packs, or to hand out to students in class. As a general rule, you may copy:

  • printed sheet music: 10% of the number of pages
  • sheet music published in electronic form: 10% of the number of bars.

Making a single copy by hand

Under Section 200(1)(a) you may make a single copy by hand of up to the whole of a piece of sheet music for use in class. You must not subsequently reproduce the hand copy by photocopying or any other means.

Research or Study

Staff and students may copy limited amounts of print (sheet) music for their research or study. For more information, refer to:

  1. Can we copy music video clips from YouTube in reliance on the University's Music Licence?
    No. The music licence only applies to audio recordings. Copying the video requires permission.

  2. Can we rely on the UniSA's music licence to synchronize music with a video of a UniSA event and then upload that video to YouTube?
    No. Uploading music used in reliance on UniSA's music licence to social media sites such as Facebook and YouTube is expressly prohibited.

  3. Can I play music, which I have copied onto an MP3 player from a CD that I own, in a clinic that I will be running and which will be open to the public
    Yes, provided that the music is part of the Australian Music Collecting Societies repertoire.

  4. Does the University's music licence apply to music purchased from iTunes
    Yes. Music purchased from iTunes may be used in reliance of the Tertiary Music Licence and be used within the University. If you intend to use this music outside the University (for example, to create a video and upload it to social media site such as Facebook), you will need to obtain written permission from all rights holders in the music.


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