Australasian Performing Right Association

Australasian Performing Right Association

The Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) is a copyright collecting society representing New Zealand and Australian composers, lyricists and music publishers. Its head office is in Sydney, with other offices in Auckland, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth. APRA is a member of the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), which was formed in 1926 and is based in Paris, France. It also presents awards for songwriters and composers in popular and classical music.


The first Performing right society acting as a copyright collecting society was established during 1850 in France. Co-operation between societies is formalised under the International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), which was formed in 1926 and is based in Paris, France. Each member society is responsible for documenting the ownership of its own members' works and for issuing licences to music users within its territory. Reciprocal agreements exist between societies.

APRA was formed in 1926 and has represented the interests of music copyright holders in Australasia since then. In 1929, radio broadcasters in Sydney and Melbourne offered APRA £7 pounds a week to cover the cost of 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 formed in that year to sort out problems with royalties and copyright issues and the stations agreed to pay a fixed sum for broadcasting rights.

In 1968, Australian copyright law was changed with the introduction of the "Australian Copyright Act". APRA manages the rights of its members under this act. It offers businesses and other organisations 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.

As at 2005, APRA has 28,000 members in Australasia and represents the interests of 2 million creators and publishers from elsewhere in the world. It collected $146 million in royalties and distributes $127 million to copyright holders. (3)

APRA Awards

APRA also runs a number of awards to honour achievements by 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.

See also

*International Confederation of Societies of Authors and Composers (CISAC), formed during 1926 in Paris, France.
*Performing Right Society - the reciprical society serving the United Kingdom.


1. Macquarie Library, "Encyclopedia of Australian Events" 1997. Retrieved via MacquarieNet.2. "Encyclopedia of Australian Events" Op. Cit.3. [ APRA About Us] .4. "Undercover News, Kasey Chambers proves "Pretty Enough" for APRA Award" May 20, 2003 [] .


* "Australasian Performing Rights Association Awards" in Ann Atkinson, Lindsay Knight and Margaret McPhee "Encyclopedia of the Performing Arts in Australia" Allen & Unwin 1996 published on, 2005

External links

* [ APRA website]
* [ Australian Music Office] - Australian Government organisation aimed at promoting export initiatives for Australian artists and music companies

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