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APRA AMCOS NZ and OneMusic NZ applaud High Court judge’s findings

Story Published Thursday 10 October 2019

Paul Money Hi Fi retail shop in Mount Eden fined for failing to pay music licence fees.

An Auckland Hi Fi store has been fined $17,123.20 by the high court, for their disregard for copyright and continual infringement of copyright laws, by playing music in their store without permission or a OneMusic licence.

The fine combines the amount of $2,123.20 in lost license fees since Paul Money Hi Fi first failed to renew their licence in July 2014, along with the amount of $15,000 on the basis that they “have been aware of the need to obtain a licence for some time and have been afforded several reasonable opportunities to obtain one. They have deliberately flouted that requirement and continued to play copyright music without authorisation. It is also clear that they are using the music for financial gain and have likely profited from the copyright breaches over the last five years. Additional damages will punish the calculated infringements of APRA’s copyright and deter further breaches” wrote Justice Edwards.

The defendants have not taken any steps in the proceeding and did not appear at the hearing.

APRA and OneMusic applaud the judge’s findings, along with her clear and concise judgment around the importance of music to an establishment such as Paul Money Hi Fi, and the importance of upholding copyright laws in order that songwriters and artists be fairly compensated for the use of their work.

APRA’s Head of NZ Operations Anthony Healey said “Issuing legal proceedings is always a last resort, despite multiple attempts over some years to assist the owner with fulfilling their legal obligations we were not able to resolve this matter. The OneMusic team continually reach out to business owners to educate them on the value of music and we will take steps to protect songwriters and artists rights when their music is used in public."

The full judgment can be read here (PDF, 205KB)

OneMusic license businesses that use music and return the licence fees collected as royalties. OneMusic works on behalf of member organisations APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ, and after administration costs all money collected is returned to music creators as royalties.

The OneMusic Retail licence grants retail businesses the permission they need to use music in their premises. Holding a OneMusic licence satisfies retail businesses’ obligations under the Copyright Act (1994) when playing music (the ‘public performance’ of music), while supporting the people that create the music they play.