Licensing for use of music at ECEC services?

A number of ACA NSW members have been approached by an organisation called OneMusic Australia – an organisation that sells music licences which provide legal protection to businesses against any possible infringement of the Copyright Act (1968) for using unlicensed music.

During their approach to early childhood education and care (ECEC) services, it has been reported that OneMusic Australia has asked some questions about the individual early learning service’s use of music and videos.

During such approaches to ECEC services, initial responses by those services’ educators confirming use of music appear to have triggered verbal and written communications from OneMusic Australia asserting that such use requires the purchase of a licence, and that unless the service purchases this licence from OneMusic, they are at risk of breaching Australia’s copyright law and at risk of being at the end of legal action.

Recent discussions have been held between OneMusic Australia, ACA and ACA's state bodies, requesting a better understanding of the legal obligations on businesses which use music in their operations, as well as the legal obligations of OneMusic Australia in terms of their selling practices.

ACA is concerned that OneMusic Australia is approaching service providers who may not be aware of their legal obligations and without giving them adequate warning to change their business practices prior to considering the purchase of such a licence without the risk of litigation.

In the meantime, ACA NSW has initiated the development of some practical legal advice so that ACA NSW members can:

  1. understand ECEC services’ legal obligations on the use of music and videos regardless of their sources (including for example via YouTube, iTunes and Spotify);
  2. anticipate what the possible fees to be paid for the use of copyright material if/when copyright material are used should the service decide to continue using music released under copyright; and
  3. make an informed decision about whether or not to purchase a music licence with OneMusic Australia.

ACA NSW anticipates such legal advice to be available very soon. This guidance will be made available exclusively to ACA NSW and other ACA state body members for their own use.

For any further information/clarification, please contact the ACA NSW team via 1300 556 330 or