Music Licensing

– When Do We Apply For It?

– Why Do We Have To?

Support artists, writers, record producers, and publishers by paying them royalties when using their work for your business.

Notes to WiC clients:

This licensing matter is raised by the personnel of some of the hotels (not all hotels but certain ones, perhaps targeted by MACP) to their clients in perhaps hopes of getting a cut from it. This is just a speculation.

MACP website itself stated that the licensing is only applied to public events. WiC mainly does private events, hence we are not required to apply for it. Moreover, when there's a company event, the organiser/company will apply for it themselves.

But if any of the officers were to come and inspect during your wedding, do remind them why aren't they following what's been stated in their own website? They may further argue that the hotel ballroom is a public area and hence it is considered public. But they ignored that the hotel is actually private property (not a public area accessible by anyone if not patrons of the hotel). You have enough reasons (by law) on your end to not give in to the officer.

So far, I've heard cases such as wedding couples have gotten a discount on the spot by the on-duty officer where they offer a 50% off i.e. from RM600 to RM300, paid in cash. This raises a lot of questions like what is even the proper amount of charges, what songs are they actually charging for (if they had left without knowing the song list for the wedding event), how the funds collected are allocated accordingly. Decide properly if you want to give your money away to someone who claims to be supporting artists by meddling into others' private events.

In short, if you are celebrating a private (personal) occasion, not for profits or any personal gains, non-business related, no music licensing of any sort is required.

Information About Music Licensing


1. Unless it is a public event, or aired publicly, music licensing of any sort is not required

2. Unless an event is organised by a registered business company (rewarding its workers, etc.) any music used or done by anyone during the private event is solely for the attendees' amusement, whereby the attendees are not obliged in any business-ties with the organiser

3. So when should we actually pay for the music event licensing?

– Simply when we are a registered business that holds any form of music usage ie performance, and air-replays of published recordings

4. The 3 typical music licensing:

– the act of stage performance

– published recording productions

– lyricists' & composers' copyrights

5. Why do we pay for it?

– Stage performance may sell tickets (business gains)

– Re-airing of any publishers' contents (labelled recordings) is in fact using another entity's 'belonging' (business services for its customers)

6. How much do we pay for it?

– In the case of how much is to be paid on royalties, the complications is on whose recording it belongs to (as the number and amount of each music being played varies and have a different degree of its uncountable volume)



September 13, 2022, 3:22 PM EST

By Damien Chew