FAQ

Public Performance Licence

What is a Public Performance 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 Recording Industry Performance Singapore Pte Ltd (RIPS). Please refer to http://www.rips.com.sg for the list of companies represented by RIPS.

Who should apply for a Public Performance 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 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 Licence?

Applications for such licences should be made through RIPS. Application forms can be obtained through our website www.rips.com.sg; or, you can contact our Licensing Department at +65 6220 4166. 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 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 RIPS' 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 RIPS have to collect and grant licence fees?

RIPS (Recording Industry Performance Singapore Pte Ltd) is authorised by the record companies that it represents to administer their rights; and, to grant the requisite licences. Please refer to http://www.rips.com.sg for the list of companies represented by RIPS.

What if I don't apply for a Public Performance 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 RIPS if I already have a licence from COMPASS?

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

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

Do I still need a licence from RIPS 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 RIPS, you are also required to obtain a Public Performance of Karaoke and/or Music Videos Licence from RIPS 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.

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

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

Many commercial establishments are now 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 RIPS to ensure compliance with copyright law. RIPS 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 RIPS onto computerised or other storage systems must apply for a Reproduction of Sound Recordings Licence.

Why are we now required to obtain this licence when we have been playing sound recordings from a computerised system or other storage systems for a long time? Under this circumstance, will RIPS backdate the licence fee payable?

We are aware that several establishments which play sound recordings in public no longer do so directly from a CD or similar record. Instead, the sound recordings are reproduced onto computerised or other storage systems. The reproduction of the sound recordings onto computerised or other storage systems requires the consent of the copyright owners. In this regard, with effect from 1 January 2007, RIPS has been administering and operating (on behalf of its represented record companies) a licence scheme for the reproduction of sound recordings for the purposes of public performance.

RIPS will not backdate licence fees for the reproduction of sound recordings prior to 1 January 2007.

If the record companies represented by RIPS 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 RIPS 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 Karaoke-on-Demand (KOD) Licence 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.

What information do I need to provide RIPS with?

On, or before the 1st day of March following the end of each calendar year, the Licensee is to provide a list of the sound recordings that are copied onto the computer or storage system at any point during that calendar year, together with all the information annexed in Schedule E of our Licence Terms & Conditions. This information is important to RIPS as it will enable the licence fee to be distributed as fairly as possible between the record companies whose sound recordings are used.

Can RIPS inspect my computer?

Under the terms of the licence, RIPS 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 RIPS 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.

Licence for the Reproduction of Sound Recordings as background music for wedding videography or photo montage by wedding videographers

A wedding studio has two videographers. Must the studio apply for two licences under the same company name?

The company is required to apply for one licence for the reproduction of sound recordings as background music. However, if the company uses a freelance videographer, the company and the freelance videographer are each required to apply for a licence separately.

Will a Malaysian-registered wedding studio providing its services in Singapore be issued a Licence for the Reproduction of Sound Recordings?

This licence is for the territory of Singapore only. RIPS will only issue the relevant licence to Singapore registered companies; or, to Singapore-based freelance videographers that reproduce the sound recordings as background music for wedding videos in Singapore.

Two freelance videographers are working together and they do not have any company registered under their names. Can they share one licence from RIPS?

No. Both freelance videographers must apply for a licence from RIPS separately. This is because both freelance videographers reproduce the sound recordings used as background music for the client separately.

Is a licence required from RIPS if no sound recordings are used in a wedding video?

No licence is required from RIPS if no sound recordings are used in the wedding video.

However, the hotel, restaurant and country club, etc, where such a wedding video is being played is required to apply for the Public Performance of Lyrics & Musical Works Licence from the Composers & Authors Society of Singapore (COMPASS) if any music is provided to the public.

Can a wedding videographer upload wedding videos produced by him onto the Internet as part of his portfolio of services?

The wedding videographer is required to obtain a separate licence from RIPS if he wishes to upload any wedding videos containing sound recordings (belonging to the record companies represented by RIPS) onto the Internet.

Is the wedding videographer liable if the wedding couple upload their wedding video onto the Internet?

The reproduction of a sound recording belonging to the record companies represented by RIPS in a wedding video that is uploaded onto the Internet will require a separate licence.

It is the videographer's responsibility to explain to his clients that they cannot upload unauthorised sound recordings onto the Internet without permission.

What if I don't apply for this licence?

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.

Ad-hoc Licence for the Reproduction of Sound Recordings as background music for wedding videos or photo montage by wedding couples

A wedding couple decides to reproduce sound recordings as background music for their own wedding video montage. Are they required to apply for a licence from RIPS?

Yes, wedding couples who reproduce sound recordings as background music for their own wedding video (including montages) for non-domestic use are required to apply for a licence from RIPS.

I want to apply for a licence to reproduce sound recordings as background music for my own wedding video. Where can I obtain the application form from?

Application forms are available for download from the RIPS website.

I am reproducing sound recordings as background music for my own wedding montage. However, I would like to reproduce two different wedding montages for my wedding. How many licences do I require?

Two licences are required.

How many sound recordings can I use to reproduce as background music in a wedding video or photo montage?

Up to five sound recordings are permitted in a single wedding video or photo montage.

Does this licence allow me to edit or create mixes?

This licence allows you to reproduce the sound recordings in their original form (i.e. the original vinyl record/tape/CD purchased from the shop) as background music for your wedding video or photo montage. You are not allowed to edit or alter the sound recordings (including combining two or more sound recordings to create a new track).

The five sound recordings licensed for reproduction as background music under this licence must be used as individual tracks, i.e. without remixing or combining tracks.

Is there any other licence that I am required to apply for?

You are also required to apply for a Reproduction of Lyrics & Musical Works Licence for your wedding video or photo montage. With effect from 1 January 2012, Music Publishers (Singapore) Ltd ("MPS") has appointed RIPS to provide administrative support in respect of the collection of licence applications, licence fees and issuance of licence certificates for MPS' Reproduction of Lyrics & Musical Works for Wedding Videography/Photo Montage Licence.