Australasian Performing Right Association

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The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is a copyright collective representing New Zealand and Australian composers, lyricists and music publishers. The association's head offices located in Sydney Australia, and it has branch offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. APRA is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).


APRA was established in 1926 by a number of companies including J. Albert & Son to represent the interests of Australasian music copyright holders. In 1929, commercial radio broadcasters in Sydney and Melbourne paid APRA £7 a week for royalties with music broadcasts limited to 66 hours a week.[1] This arrangement broke down in 1931 with APRA banning the playing of records on air. The Australian Federation of Commercial Broadcasting Stations was established in that year to resolve royalty and copyright related issues and as a result, member broadcasters agreed to pay a fixed sum for broadcasting rights.

With the introduction of the Australian Copyright Act 1968, APRA extended its services to any Australian business with copyright obligations. Demand for the service increased steadily over the following thirty years and by 2005, APRA represented the interests of 28,000 members within Australasia, and about 2 million creative artists and publishers from elsewhere in the world, and gathered $146 million in royalty payments, of which $127 million was distributed to copyright holders.[2]

Today the Association provides businesses a range of licenses to use copyrighted music with APRA monitoring radio and television stations, concert promoters and cinemas in particular. Since 1997, APRA has also represented the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society representing Australasian music publishers.

In 2008 and 2009, APRA supported aggressive new copyright law in New Zealand, including punishment of persons accused but not proven to be infringing copyright. This position was opposed by artists[3] and APRA members.[4]

APRA Awards[edit]

APRA hosts a number of awards to honour achievements by local songwriters including the APRA Awards, the APRA Classical Music Awards and the Screen Awards, all in Australia. In New Zealand, the annual Silver Scroll is awarded by an anonymous judging panel to the year's best-written song on commercial release. Also awarded are the songs receiving the most airplay in New Zealand and overseas for the year.

Hilltop Hoods Initiative[edit]

In a newsletter, released on 4 December 2012, by Australian hip hop trio, the Hilltop Hoods, the group communicated the following announcement:

In 2013 The Hilltop Hoods and APRA are teaming up again to give a career changing $10K to the most impressive emerging Hip Hop/Soul act in Australia. Aimed at helping fund the manufacturing and marketing of an album release, the grant is open to any act who hasn't yet released anything professionally. Applications will open in early 2013 along with details on how to enter.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Encyclopedia of Australian Events 1997. Macquarie Library. 1997. 
  2. ^ "About Us". APRA. 
  3. ^ "Creative Freedom Foundation". 
  4. ^ Pat Pilcher (22 January 2009). "Copyright law dust-up turns into a war of words". The New Zealand Herald. 

External links[edit]