When you join APRA, you assign all of the performing rights in your works to APRA so that APRA can license and enforce those rights on your behalf as efficiently as possible.
From time to time, you may wish to license certain uses of your works yourself rather than through APRA. To do this, you first need to take back the necessary rights from APRA.
You can do this by ”licensing back” or “opting out”. Which one you use will depend on what you’re planning to do with your music. APRA provides various options, explained below.
If you are granting direct licences for the use of your music, APRA will not be collecting licence fees for those uses, and your legal rights and your income could be affected. This is an information sheet only. APRA is happy to answer your questions about licence-back and opt out, but you should obtain your own legal advice.
If you want to offer your own music on your own website, for non commercial purposes (your works are provided free of charge) APRA will grant you a complimentary licence for this purpose.
The application process for a Complimentary licence for personal website is quick, easy and free:
If you want to license your music to be made available on a particular website, provided the website is non commercial (there can be no financial benefit in connection with the website, and the website must be run by a not for profit body that isn’t publicly funded), APRA will grant you a licence for this purpose. If the online licence you wish to grant does not fall within this definition you should use the general licence-back application process described below.
If you want to enter into a direct licence with someone in New Zealand or Australia to use one or more of your songs, APRA will grant you a licence-back. You will need to tell APRA who you’re licensing (either by name, or by description – just enough information so that APRA won’t try to license that person as well). APRA will still own the performing rights in the work, and will continue to license all other users.
You can choose to “opt out” of APRA for certain categories of use, for all your works. This will give you complete control of all your works, worldwide, for that type of use. You will be able to grant licences to anyone for that use, on your terms, or you may choose not to license the works at all.
The categories of use are:
If you opt out, APRA will not license any uses of your works in the relevant category, and you won’t receive any money from APRA for that use. APRA also will not be able to enforce your rights if someone infringes your copyright.
The minimum period to opt out is 12 months. If you want to opt out, you must provide APRA with the following:
For further information or assistance in completing any of the Opt Out, Licence Back, or Non-Commercial Online Licence Back application forms, please contact our Member Services Team:
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