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APRA and Fitness Australia reach agreement on licence scheme for fitness classes

APRA and Fitness Australia reach agreement on licence scheme for fitness classes
June 7, 2011

Fitness Australia has reported that it has reached an agreement with the Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) on the terms of a new Licence Scheme for the use of music in group fitness classes.

The new Licence Scheme will be effective from 1st July 2011 and includes the following terms:

1. The scheme will apply to all fitness classes, defined as:

A structured form of exercise conducted in a class environment in or by a Fitness Centre or other organization conducting fitness classes on a commercial basis as a business or by a freelance fitness instructor, which is (a) directed (whether by a fitness instructor, video instruction or otherwise) and (b) included in a published time-table or advance notification to potential participants, and includes, without limitation, the following types of classes:- aerobics, circuit, dance, cycle/spin, strength/resistance, hybrid, boxing/combat, flexibility/stretching/abdominal, including yoga and pilates, specialty, aqua and age/lifestyle

2. Licensees will have the option of electing - exercisable at the commencement of each licence year, to apply for the duration of that licence year - to pay at a single rate applicable to all classes or at the two-tiered rate set out below.

3. The single rate (GST inclusive) will be as follows:

a. Year 1 - $1.50 per class
b. Year 2 - $2.00 per class
c. Year 3 - $2.50 per class
d. Year 4 - $2.50 plus CPI per class
e. Year 5 - Year 4 rate plus CPI

4. 'Two Tiered' Rate (GST inclusive) will be as follows:

a. Year 1 - $0.90c per class with 10 or fewer participants, and $2.10 per class with more than 10 participants;
b. Year 2 - $1.20 per class with 10 or fewer participants, and $2.80 per class with more than 10 participants;
c. Year 3 - $1.50 per class with 10 or fewer participants, and $3.50 per class with more than 10 participants;
d. Year 4 - Year 3 rates plus CPI;
e. Year 5 - Year 4 rates plus CPI.

5. Commencement Date: 1st July 2011. However, many licensees will enter into agreements under the new scheme as and when their existing licences fall due after 1st July 2011.

6. Term: Fiveyears, thereafter upon three months' notice by either party.

7. Payment Terms: On a quarterly basis (in advance) for licensees paying fees above a reasonable threshold, which is agreed at $1,000 per annum.

APRA has been closely following the longstanding dispute between Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) case, and waiting on an outcome, prior to entering into discussions with the fitness industry about the copyright licence fee for music used in group fitness classes that is applicable to them as the collecting society for the copyright in the musical work (composition and lyrics).

Prior to the Federal Court appeal in the PPCA case, APRA agreed to hold the current licence fee for fitness classes in place until March 2011. They also signalled their intention to then commence negotiations with Fitness Australia on a revision of this licence scheme for the fitness industry.

The Fitness Australia Board of Directors resolved to enter into these negotiations for the following reasons:

1. To obtain certainty around the APRA licence fee for the industry;
2. To arrive at commercially viable five year agreement on the licence fee and to avoid the matter being dealt with in the Copyright Tribunal, and
3. To arrive at an agreed rate with APRA prior to the PPCA matter being referred back to the Copyright Tribunal.

The negotiations have been conducted in a very professional and constructive manner by both parties and we believe that this Agreement is fair, reasonable and affordable for the fitness industry.

For more information on the new APRA Licence Scheme, contact APRA on 1300 852 388 or visit

Image courtesy of Zumba.






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