ACCC Grants APRA Authorisation Until 2013 - MusicNSW

APRA’s membership, licensing, distribution and international arrangements are all the subject of an “authorisation” by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. APRA chooses to seek authorisation from the ACCC because it represents the interests of many individual songwriters and music publishers on a collective basis and this has the potential to give rise to certain competition issues under the Trade Practices Act.

The ACCC has authorised APRA subject to two conditions which are intended to improve the effectiveness of APRA’s alternative dispute resolution facility. Where APRA and a music user are in dispute regarding the terms of a licence scheme, and the dispute is referred to an independent expert for resolution pursuant to APRA’s ADR facility, APRA must now ask the expert to prepare an independent report on APRA’s handling of the dispute. At the end of each year APRA will also be obliged to provide the ACCC with a detailed report on all disputes referred to ADR over the year together with copies of the independent expert reports previously mentioned.

APRA has also volunteered to make its licence-back process easier to use for members who wish to license their works directly, rather than through APRA.