In most of the world, you may not be required to obtain a licence to DJ. There are only few countries that have copyright laws requiring licences to perform legally purchased music in public.
Depending on where you are, either a licence to replicate music on your computer hard drive or other digital storage as mp3 format from the original CDs or other media, or a licence as a DJ to play that music in public must be obtained by law.
Which countries are these ? Let’s take a look.
In the UK, DJs must get licences from PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited) and MCPS (Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society).
The licence covers reproduction of legally purchased music in digital format and stored on hard drive with additional back up.
Both licences can be obtained together in one, called ProDub Licence.
For more information and pricing of licence, please visit these organizations’ websites.
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DJs are required to have a special licence for reproduction of music for public performance.
There are organizations in Canada authorized to issue these permits which are Audio Video Licensing Agency (AVLA), The Canadian Professional DJ Association (CPDJA), Canadian Disc Jockey Association (CDJA) and Canadian Alliance of Professional Entertainers (CAPE).
In Canada, you as a DJ need a licence if music you play is copied in other formats. If you play music from original CDs that you legally purchased, then this licence is not required as per AVLA.
Please visit these websites for more detailed information and to find out how and where you need it.
If you are in Finland and a DJ, you must obtain licences from both TEOSTO and GRAMEX to be able to reproduce music in digital format on your hard drives. There are various limitations and pricing for these licences depending on how many songs you have in your library. Best way to find out is visiting those websites.
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Looks like Ireland has an organization to protect the rights of composers and song writers for their copyrighted music.
I did not see, hear or find anything about the enforcement of this licence in Ireland, but still want to let my readers know about the existence of Phonographic Performance Ireland (PPI) which issues the licence for whomever uses copyrighted music in public. Please visit the website for more info.
Again, no evidence of any enforcement in terms of using copyrighted music in public.
I will provide you with the links to Australian organizations that you can get detailed information about licensing and figure out what’s going on.
In India, according to the Copyright Act of 1957, getting a licence from Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL) is mandatory for DJs in order to play pre-recorded music in public and for non-private purpose. If I find anything about this law being really enforced, I will post it here asap, but as of now, I did not reach any information on that.
Best thing is to visit the website and get more accurate information about this licence.
According to South African Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO), any venue, business or person playing recorded music in public or copying musical work must get a music usage licence.
This includes pubs, nightclubs, mobil DJs and so on.
By clicking the link above and visiting SAMRO’s website, you can get more info about the law and licence types.
Go ahead and let us know of any other countries requiring licences for DJs and how they can get it by commenting below.
Hi I’m from India and I’m new to the DJing business. I have recently made mashup tracks to be uploaded on soundcloud and videos for youtube. I do not intend to sell these tracks or make any kind of money out of them. Do I need a licence to upload those videos or tracks on youtube and soundcloud?
What I understand from the Indian Copyright Act is that you need a licence to play music in public. On the other hand, there may be laws and restrictions for using copyrighted musical work of others.
If the composer or song writer of any track you use in your compilations goes to law and files a lawsuit, you may be responsible for that.
Again, I am not sure if this is strictly enforced in India. Best way to find out is asking the active DJs in your area.