Securing a music licence for your hospital


Copyright on music and performance is complex in the hospital context and Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) AMCOS has released more guidance on the issue.

Hospitals must have a licence for music in a number of situations:

  • Music that is played in common areas of hospitals and staff areas
  • Hold music on phone systems
  • Background music in waiting rooms and walkways

These are all considered a ‘public performance’ requiring a licence.

However, music in patient rooms is excluded as this is considered domestic use.

Televisions also raise copyright concerns. A television featuring music for the enjoyment of staff and patients in common areas also fits into the category of a public performance, requiring a licence.

APRA AMCOS licence organisations to broadcast their members’ music and collects royalties on their behalf.

There are two choices for any Australian organisation using copyright music, one option is to go directly to the people involved with the production of the song, and ask for permission to use every song they broadcast.

Or hospitals can obtain permission (a licence) from a rights management organisation to whom they have assigned their rights, in Australia APRA AMCOS works for songwriters, composers and publishers and the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia works for artists and record labels.  

For more information on the APRA AMCOS licence visit their website.


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