FAQ

For Music Licensing

Frequently Asked Questions
Public Performance of Karaoke Licence

What is a Public Performance of Karaoke Licence?

It is a licence which grants permission to any person or the operator of the licensed establishment to show in public karaoke and/or music videos, the copyright in which is owned by or exclusively licensed to the record companies represented by Music Rights (Singapore) Public Limited (MRSS).

 

Who should apply for a Public Performance of Karaoke Licence?

Any person or establishment using the record companies’ licensed videos to provide:

  • karaoke entertainment;
  • music videos as featured entertainment; or,
  • music videos as background entertainment

to the public, or a section of the public, should apply for a Public Performance Licence.

 

Why should I apply for Public Performance of Karaoke Licence?

Purchasing a video/laser disc/VCD/DVD of a licensed video only permits its use at home, and does not give the purchaser any right to play that video/laser disc/VCD/DVD in public.

Under Singapore copyright law, playing a video in public requires the consent of the copyright owner, hence a further public performance licence is needed before a karaoke and music videos may be played in public premises (such as those places as listed). Failure to apply for a licence in advance of any public performance of karaoke and/or music videos is a violation of the Copyright Act.

 

Where should I apply for a Public Performance of Karaoke Licence?

Applications for such licences should be made through MRSS. Application forms can be obtained through our website or you can contact our Licensing Department at +65 6475 1181. A licence will be granted to the applicant subject to the terms and conditions stated in the application form; and, payment of the appropriate fee.

 

How much is the Public Performance of Karaoke Licence fee?

The licence fee payable will depend on the type of outlet and its seating capacity. Fees for ad-hoc licences will depend on the type and duration of the event. Please refer to MRSS’ tariff schedule for details of the fees payable.

 

What happens to the fees collected?

Licence fees collected are distributed among the respective copyright owners.

 

What authority does MRSS have to collect and grant licence fees?

MRSS (Music Rights (Singapore) Public Limited) is authorised by the record companies that it represents to administer their rights; and, to grant the requisite licences.

 

What if I don’t apply for a Public Performance of Karaoke Licence?

Any person or establishment who shows a video in public but does not have a public performance licence will infringe the copyright therein, and apart from civil liability, the infringer may also be prosecuted for a criminal offence under Section 136(6) of the Copyright Act, which upon conviction, may attract a fine of up to S$ 20,000.00; or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years; or, to both for each offence committed.

 

Do I still need a licence from MRSS if I already have a licence from COMPASS?

COMPASS represents the copyright interest of composers, authors and publishers of musical works and their lyrics.

MRSS grants licences for public performance of karaoke and/or music videos owned or controlled by the record companies that MRSS represents. The rights licensed by MRSS and COMPASS are therefore different, and you will still need a MRSS licence to use karaoke and/or music videos licensed by MRSS, even if you have obtained a COMPASS licence.

 

Do I still need a licence from MRSS if I already have a Public Entertainment Licence?

A Public Entertainment Licence is required when you offer any entertainment activity in public. Such a licence is obtained from the Public Entertainment Licensing Unit of the Singapore Police Force.

If you provide karaoke and/or music videos facilities in your establishment and use videos licensed by MRSS, you are also required to obtain a Public Performance of Karaoke and/or Music Videos Licence from MRSS to avoid infringing the Copyright Act.

 

When must licence fees be paid?

Licence fees must be paid in full and in advance within fourteen (14) days from the date of our notification. Annual renewal of licence fees must be paid before the start of the calendar year.

 

Reproduction of Karaoke Licence

When should a licence be obtained from MRSS for Reproduction of Karaoke Videos?

If you, either as an individual, or as a registered entity such as a company, have in possession and/or intend to reproduce cinematographic films either owned or exclusively licensed to the record companies represented by MRSS, you will need to be authorised or licensed in order to do so, which is granted through the licence issued by MRSS.

 

Why should I apply for a Reproduction of Karaoke Licence from MRSS?

The obtaining of this licence from MRSS allows you to lawfully reproduce cinematographic films belonging to the record companies represented by MRSS.

All individuals and/or establishments that are in possession of or intend to reproduce cinematographic films either owned or exclusively licensed to the record companies represented by MRSS must apply for a Reproduction of Cinematographic Films Licence from MRSS.

 

What does “reproduction” of cinematographic films mean?

Section 15 of Singapore’s Copyright Act defines reproduction as follows:

“15.-(1)…reproduction, in the case of a…musical work, includes a reproduction…of…cinematograph film of the work, and…any copy of such a film shall be deemed to be a reproduction of the work”; and

“(1B)…a…dramatic, musical or artistic work, including a reproduction of such work in the form of a…cinematographic film, is reproduced if it is converted into or from a digital or other electronic machine-readable form, and any article embodying the work or reproduction of the work in such a form is taken to be a reproduction of the work.”

Under Singapore copyright law, reproducing such cinematographic films requires the consent of the copyright owner. Hence a further licence is required from MRSS to reproduce the said cinematographic films.

 

What if I refuse or neglect or omit to obtain this licence?

Any person or establishment who reproduces, without licence, cinematographic films belonging to the record companies that MRSS represents will be violating and infringing copyrights. Quite apart from civil liability, the infringer may also be prosecuted for statutory offences under section 136 of the Copyright Act, and upon conviction, may be fined up to $20,000.00 for each infringement; or be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years for each infringement.

 

What authority does MRSS have to grant licences and collect fees?

MRSS is authorised by the record companies that it represents to administer their rights and to grant the relevant licenses.

 

Which record companies does MRSS represent?

The record companies that MRSS presently represents are as follows:

1. Amusic Creative Team Pte Ltd
2. Banshee Empire Pte Ltd
3. Brocita Enterprise Pte Ltd
4. Cross Ratio Entertainment Pte Ltd
5. EQ Music & Media Pte Ltd
6. Evolution Singapore Pte Ltd
7. Forward Music (S) Pte Ltd
8. Funkie Monkies Productions Pte Ltd
9. HIM International Music Pte Ltd
10. Hype Records Private Limited
11. KRU Singapore Pte Ltd
12. Life Record Industries (Pte) Ltd
13. Nelumbo Records LLP
14. Ocean Butterflies Music Pte Ltd
15. Rock Records (S) Pte Ltd
16. Royal Entertainment (S) Pte Ltd
17. Sony Music Entertainment Singapore (Pte) Ltd
18. Suwah Records Pte Ltd
19. Universal Music Pte Ltd
20. Warner Music Singapore Pte Ltd
21. White Cloud Record Pte Ltd
22. Wise Entertainment Pte Ltd

 

Where should I apply for a licence?

Applications for such licences should be made through MRSS. Application forms can be obtained through our website; or you can contact our licensing department as follows:

Music Rights (Singapore) Public Limited
4 Leng Kee Road
#03-06/07 SiS Building
Singapore 159088
Tel no: 6475 1181
Fax no: 6475 1310

 

What are the conditions for the grant of a licence?

A licence will be granted to the applicant subject to payment of the appropriate fee and the terms and conditions stated in the application form.

 

How much is the licence fee for Reproduction of Karaoke?

The licence fee payable depends on what the purpose of the reproduction is for. For instance, if it is your company reproducing cinematographic films belonging to the record companies that MRSS represents, it would depend on the type of outlet and its seating capacity. Please refer to MRSS’s tariff schedule for details of the fees payable.

 

How many licences do I or my company need from MRSS?

If you or your organisation own or manage more than one outlet or establishment, all of which reproduce cinematographic films belonging to the record companies that MRSS represents, you will require a license from MRSS for each and every outlet or establishment. In other words, the license that you obtain from MRSS is venue specific to only the outlet or establishment that the license is applied for.

 

Is MRSS a supplier or distributor of cinematographic films?

MRSS only issues licences and enforces copyrights on behalf of the record companies that it represents. It is neither a supplier or distributor of cinematographic films belonging to the record companies that it represents.

 

Why do I need a Reproduction of Cinematographic Films Licence from MRSS?

Many commercial establishments are using computerised or other storage systems to reproduce cinematographic films for on-demand retrieval and other applications. Such reproduction requires the consent and or license of the copyright owners.

As such, if a copy of cinematographic film belonging to any of the record companies that MRSS represents is contained in your computerised or other storage system, including your karaoke-on-demand system, a license must be obtained from MRSS to ensure compliance with copyright laws. MRSS has been authorised by the record companies that it represents to license the reproduction of cinematographic films in any medium in Singapore, including computerised, karaoke-on-demand and/or other storage systems.

 

Can MRSS inspect my premises for possession and/or reproduction of cinematographic films?

Under the terms of the licence issued by MRSS, it has the right to inspect your premises, computer, storage systems and back-up databases.

 

Is the licence transferable?

The licence is not transferable.

 

What happens if the licence is terminated?

If the licence is terminated, whether voluntarily by your or your company in the event of business cessation or other reasons, or by MRSS for breach of the licence agreement, all cinematographic films belonging to the record companies that MRSS represents must be removed by you or your company from the computer, other storage systems, back-up databases and/or other mediums in which the cinematographic films are contained, and notice of that removal must be provided to MRSS. In the event that such notice is not provided, or MRSS finds that you or your company are still in possession of the said cinematographic films, the appropriate action under the Copyright Act will be taken.

 

Licence for the Reproduction of Sound Recordings for the purpose of Public Performance

Why do I need a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence for public performance?

Many commercial establishments are using computerised or other storage systems to reproduce sound recordings for on-demand retrieval and other applications. Such reproduction requires the consent of the relevant copyright owners.

As such, if a copy of a sound recording is made on such computerised or other storage systems, a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence must be obtained from MRSS to ensure compliance with copyright law. MRSS has been empowered by the record companies to license the reproduction of their sound recordings on such computerised or other storage systems.

 

Why do I need an extra licence for sound recordings that I had lawfully purchased?

Purchasing a vinyl record/tape/CD, only permits its use at home. Making a copy of that sound recording onto a computerised or other storage system requires the permission of the copyright owners.

If you have downloaded a sound recording legally, you are given a limited right to keep a copy of the downloaded sound recording for listening at home and in accordance with the terms of the licence accompanying the download. If you want to make further copies or use it for other purposes, then you are required to obtain the permission of the copyright owners.

 

Who should apply for a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence?

All establishments that have reproduced sound recordings of record companies represented by MRSS onto computerised or other storage systems must apply for a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence.

If the record companies represented by MRSS have issued claims against you in respect of any past unauthorised copying, please note that these claims are not affected by the grant of this licence to you.

 

What if I don’t apply for a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence?

Reproducing sound recordings belonging to the record companies represented by MRSS onto computerised or other storage systems without this licence is an infringement of the copyright in the sound recordings and can lead to legal action.

Failing to obtain a licence for reproduction of sound recordings is an infringement of copyright. Apart from civil liability, the infringer may also be prosecuted for a criminal offence under Section 136 of the Copyright Act, and upon conviction, may attract a fine or imprisonment or to both for each offence committed.

 

Does this licence allow me to create mixes?

This licence allows you to copy and store sound recordings in their original form (i.e. the original vinyl record/tape/CD purchased from the shop) onto computers or other storage systems (including back-up databases). You are not allowed to edit or alter the sound recordings (including combining two or more sound recordings to create a new track).

DJs can create a mix from different sound recordings when they are performing. However, they are not allowed to record this mix onto computers or other storage systems.

 

Can any individual freelance DJ obtain a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence?

Any individual freelance DJ who wants to reproduce digital copies of the sound recordings for the purpose of public performance at ad-hoc events several times a year (e.g. outdoor shows, Dinner & Dance events, etc) can obtain this licence if the copying takes place in Singapore.

 

What about karaoke records?

The Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence only covers the copying and storage of sound recordings on your computer or other storage systems (including back-up databases). To create karaoke records or copy such a record onto a computer or other storage systems, a licence for the Reproduction of Karaoke Videos and Cinematography Films unto Karaoke-on-Demand Systems is required together with a Public Performance Licence.

 

What security measures do I have to provide for the digital copies?

You will need to make sure that the digital copies (both on the computer or other storage system, and back-up database) are kept safe and secure. At the minimum, you should keep these systems safely secured when not in use; and, password-protected.

 

When does the licence fee have to be paid?

The annual licence fee has to be paid in full and in advance for each year that the licence fee remains in force. The licence will not come into effect unless the annual licence fee has been paid. For subsequent years, you will have to pay the annual licence fee upon receipt of our renewal notice.

 

Can MRSS inspect my computer?

Under the terms of the licence, MRSS has the right to inspect your computer, storage systems and back-up databases.

 

Is this licence transferable?

This licence is non-transferable.

 

What happens when the licence is terminated?

When the licence is terminated, whether voluntarily by your company in the event of business cessation or other reasons, or by MRSS for breach of the licence agreement, all sound recordings must be removed from the computer, other storage systems and/or back-up databases. This means that all digital copies of the sound recordings must be erased from the hard disk unit of your system.