Music provides a way to ease grief, to remember a much-loved family tune or to commune with others at the service in chorus.

APRA AMCOS administers a number of copyright licences for associations of funeral directors, and for funeral providers directly. The blanket licences cover various uses of music, lyrics, sound recordings, poems and plays. 

While it is true that no licensing is required to play music during the funeral service itself, the use of copyright materials in other ways usually requires licensing. To make it easy for Funeral Directors to meet their copyright obligations, there are three simple licence agreements available

  1. Reproduction and Streaming Licence
  2. Public Performance Licence
  3. Copyright Agency Licence 

If you are a member of an association of funeral directors you can opt-in to one of these agreements through your association.

If you are an independent funeral director you are able to enter into these licence agreements directly with APRA AMCOS.

How much does it cost?

Reproduction & Streaming Licence



PACKAGE 1 – Base Coverage

This licence covers you to:

  • Make compilation CDs and playlists to play at services
  • Use music in slideshow presentations played during a service
  • Distribute up to 50 copies of the slideshow presentation or a DVD/video or a CD/audio recording of the service to relatives and friends of the deceased for their personal and domestic use only. These copies can be distributed by you free of charge or for sale for the purpose of recovering the direct cost of manufacture.
$108.25 $129.92

PACKAGE 2 – Lyrics

This licence covers you to additionally:

  • Print song lyrics onto an overhead projector transparency at services
  • Type song lyrics into a PowerPoint presentation (or similar program) at services
  • Print song lyrics in an Order of Service – maximum of 500 copies per service.
$167.26 $200.71

PACKAGE 3 – Streaming

This licence covers you to additionally:

  • Record a funeral service for streaming online, either live, on-demand or time delayed for those unable to attend the service in person
  • Make this stream available for up to 30 days after the date of the service.
$223.01 $267.61

Public Performance Licence



PACKAGE 4 – Music on Hold

This licence covers you to:

  • Play music on your telephone on-hold system (including in advertisements you have recorded)
  • Copy recordings onto your telephone on-hold system for this purpose.
$73.81 $88.58

PACKAGE 5 – Background Music

This licence covers you to:

  • Play music in your office spaces, reception area, attendance rooms, viewing rooms, chapels etc. [The fee varies depending on whether the music is used in a head office or branch office.]
(Head Office)
(Branch Office)
(Head Office)
(Branch Office)

Copyright Agency Licence



PACKAGE 6 – Copying Text, Poems and Plays

This licence covers you to:

  • Copy limited portions of words from books, poems, plays and other literary works for use in Orders of Service and PowerPoint slides and
  • Copy limited portions of words from books, poems, plays and other literary works for use in compilation guides - to assist clients in selecting extracts of copyright works for use in services.
(Head Office)
(Branch Office)
(Head Office)
(Branch Office)

Why are there four organisations that licence the use of music?

A recorded song is made up of different Parts which need licences for each use:

Part 1: the public performance of the sound recording: an artist/performer and the record label are involved in the recording and production of a song. A licence is typically required if you play a sound recording in public. A licence to do this can be obtained from the relevant record label or artist. However, the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia Ltd (PPCA) can also issue this type of licence.

Part 2: the reproduction of the sound recording: a licence is required if you reproduce/copy sound recordings for certain purposes. A licence to do this can be obtained from the relevant record label or artist. However, the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) can also issue licences for certain types of reproductions/copying activities.

Part 3: the musical work (the lyrics, the composition), which relates to the author of the work – the songwriter or composer and their publisher. The performance royalties for musical works are collected and paid by Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA).

Part 4: the musical work, which relates to the author of the work. The mechanical royalty for musical works (eg copies onto a CD, DVD or online, lyrics and music reproduced as sheet music) is collected by either Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society (AMCOS), the publisher or the songwriter.


APRA AMCOS is a not for profit, non-government rights management organisation which enables music creators and customers to realise the value of music. APRA stands for Australasian Performing Right Association. AMCOS stands for Australasian Mechanical Copyright Owners Society. The two organisations joined in 1997.

Up until the 1920s songwriters and composers in Australia individually made arrangements with businesses and organisations to use (perform, adapt, communicate, publish, reproduce) their music (mostly sheet music) under a patchwork of Copyright legislation, both state and federal. These negotiations were cumbersome, time consuming and involved a series of individual legal contracts for businesses simply wanting to use the music and the process took songwriters and composers away from their creative pursuits.

In 1926, APRA was formed as a membership organisation to overcome this administrative function and to grant ‘economic rights,’ obtain standardised and fair compensation for those rights and distribute royalties to the rights holder. Now, more than 89,000 songwriters, publisher and composers are members of APRA AMCOS.

This quick video provides insight into our important work.

Where can I find more on the Copyright Agency?

You will find more on the Copyright Agency on their website.

Need more information?

We’re here to help you. Please contact us on 1300 852 388 or email

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