arrow  MUSIC LICENSING FAQs

 
Q : What is a Public Performance of music and Performing Rights?
A : A "public performance" of music refers as one that takes place outside of the domestic circle. Songwriters have the exclusive copyright to play their music publicly and to authorise others to do so under the Copyright Act 1987. This is known as "performing rights" and these rights were designed to enable and encourage music creators to continue to create music.

Performing rights are the rights of performance in public and communication to the public granted under the Copyright Act 1987.

Music is performed in public when it is played in a public or businesses, where it can be heard by employers, employees or the public. The performance may be conducted via radia, television, streaming, playing of records, CDs, tapes, live artist or any other means.

Communication to the public means the transmission of music via wire or wireless to the public such as TV, cable and radio broadcasts, the internet, ring tones and etc.
 
Q : Do I need a licence to play music in my business or event?
A : Yes, musical work is the intellectual property of the songwriters. The Copyright Act 1987 protects his interests, enabling him to receive a fair compensation whenever his works are performed in public. As a part of 'public', the business and event owners require songwriter's consent to play the music and consent is granted by a licence.
 
Q : What is MACP?
A : MACP is what known as a music performing right organisation. A performing right organisation represents the songwriters to collect licence fees from businesses that use music, including karaoke, pubs, supermarkets, hotels, restaurants and events. These licence fees are then distributed as royalties to the songwriters. MACP has been functioning as a licensing body in Malaysia since 1989 and currently represents more than 1 million songwriters and their 15 millions musical works worldwide.
 
Q : Is MACP a government body?
A : No. Because copyright is a private right, the owners of the musical works are the songwriters, not the Government. MACP is a licensing body, which functions are recognised under the Copyright Act 1987, which is under the Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO), an agency under the Ministry of Domestic Trade and Consumer Affairs, Malaysia.
 
Q : What does a MACP licence do?
A : MACP licence gives you a licence to entertain your customers, guests and employees with the world's largest music repertoire. One of the greatest advantages of the MACP licence is that it gives you the right to perform any and all of the millions of musical works in the MACP repertoire. Whether your music is live, broadcast, transmitted or played via CDs, the MACP licence covers your performances. A MACP licence also saves you immense time and expenses of contacting each songwriter for permission to play their music publicly.
 
Q : I bought my own CDs, digital audio files, software and equipment. Why do I need a MACP licence to play it in my business?
A : Most people buy digital audio files, CDs or software thinking they are now their property, but there is a distinction in the law between owning a copy of the music and owning the actual songs that are played. When you buy an audio files, software, or CDs, even those specifically marketed for business purposes, the purchase price covers only your private listening use, regardless how the files or recordings are labeled. Once you decide to play any copyrighted music publicly, you need permission from songwriters. In Malaysia, they are represented by MACP.
 
Q : Aren't TV, cable, radio stations and digital music streaming platforms already licensed with MACP?
A : They are, however their agreements do not authorise the performance of such TV, cable, radio broadcasts and streaming services to the public by businesses and other organisations. When such broadcast and streaming services are used in businesses, the use is a separate performance and the business owners are required to obtain a MACP licence.
 
Q : Aren't the performers, bands and DJs I hired be responsible for obtaining the MACP licence?
A : You are authorising the performance if music is performed in your business or event, then it is your responsible to obtain the MACP licence, as provided for under the Copyright Act 1987. Music Licence fees are one of the many costs of doing business.
 
Q : I rent my venue to promoters. Who should be responsible for paying the MACP licence fee?
A : The promoter is responsible to obtain the licence from MACP prior to any performance. However, the owner of the venue can also be found liable for authorising an unlicensed performance. Protect yourself - it music is used in your venue, please ensure the promoter has a MACP Licence.
 
Q : How do I know I'm playing MACP's music?
A : Because MACP protects an extensive repertoire of musical works written by millions songwriters worldwide, it is almost impossible not to perform MACP's music at some point. It covers all compositions ranging from rock, pop, jazz, dance, dangdut, ethnic, traditional, R&B, latin, reggae, new age to contemporary music, music in TV programmes and commercial jingles. You may visit MACP's website at www.macp.com.my for the list of Affiliated Societies that we represent internationally.
 
Q : How much do I have to pay?
A : MACP Licence fees are set out in its published tariffs which lists different rates depending on the nature of the business and type of music used. Please contact MACP and our officers can help you work out the tariff that applies to your business or event.
 
Q : Are there any exemption from the need to obtain a MACP licence?
A : Yes, Section 13(2)(k) of the Malaysian Copyright Act 1987 gives exemption to usage of musical works by a non-profit organisation or club for charitable or educational purposes, where no admission fee is charged. If in doubt, do contact MACP to discuss on your position.
 
Q : What happens if I don't obtain a licence?
A : Music users who do not have a licence are committing an offence under the Copyright Act 1987. Offenders are liable to civil and criminal proceedings, which may lead to injunctions, damages, fines and imprisonment. If you are using music now in your business or are considering doing so, please contact MACP for a licence because MACP will do everything in its power under the Copyright Act 1987 to ensure its members' rights are protected.
 
Q : How do I get a MACP licence?
A : Simple - Complete the MACP application form or call us at 03-2299 8400. An invoice will be issued to you on receipt of your application. Upon receiving your payment, a Licence or Permit will be forwarded to you.
 
Q : Where do the licence fees go?
A : The fees that MACP collects are distributed annually to members and affiliated songwriters and publishers whose works are performed, less only a deduction for actual administration costs.

The money you pay for your MACP licence helps to provide a living for the songwriters who create your music.
 
Q : Besides MACP, are there other organisations collecting licence fees for public performance? If so, what is the difference between them and MACP?
A : In addition to MACP licence for the musical works, if you are playing recorded music and music videos, you are also required to get additional licences from Public Performance Malaysia (PPM) Bhd, the owners of the sound recordings who are the record producers and Recording Performers Malaysia (RPM), an organisation represents recording artistes and musicians who have equitable remuneration for sound recording performances.
 
Q : How do I contact MyIPO to verify my obligations and MACP's position?
A : You can obtain more information from their website at www.myipo.gov.my or contact them at:

The Director General
Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (MyIPO)

Unit 1-7, Aras Bawah, Tower B, Menara UOA Bangsar,
No 5 Jalan Bangsar Utama 1,
59000 Kuala Lumpur, Wilayah Persekutuan
Tel: 03-2299 8400
Fax: 03-2299 8989
Email: infocopyright@myipo.gov.my