Australasian Performing Right Association

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The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is a not-for-profit copyright collective representing Australian and New Zealander composers, lyricists, and music publishers. The association's head offices are located in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, with branch offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, and Perth. APRA is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC).

Since 1997 the society has formed an alliance with Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), which represents composers and lyricists, to provide "a one-stop service to music creators and music customers."[1][2] As of August 2019 the two organisations share a website and are usually referred to as APRA AMCOS or APRA/AMCOS.


APRA was established in 1926[1] by a number of companies, including J. Albert & Son to represent the interests of Australasian music copyright holders,[3] and to manage the performance and communication rights of its members.[1]

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.[3] 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.[citation needed]

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 two 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.[4]

Today the Association provides businesses with a range of licences to use copyrighted music with APRA monitoring radio and television stations, concert promoters and cinemas in particular. In 1997, APRA formed an alliance with the Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society, representing Australasian music publishers, and act as one organisation.[1]

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[5] and APRA members.[6]

APRA Awards[edit]

In Australia, APRA AMCOS hosts a number of awards to honour achievements by local songwriters, including the APRA Music Awards, the Art Music Awards for classical music (in association with the Australian Music Centre), and the Screen Music Awards (in association with the Australian Guild of Screen Composers).

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.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "What We Do". Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) | Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS). Retrieved 29 August 2019.
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Australian Events 1997. Macquarie Library. 1997.
  3. ^ a b Encyclopedia of Australian Events 1997. Macquarie Library. 1997.
  4. ^ "About Us". APRA. Archived from the original on 26 May 2009.
  5. ^ "Creative Freedom Foundation".
  6. ^ Pat Pilcher (22 January 2009). "Copyright law dust-up turns into a war of words". The New Zealand Herald.

External links[edit]