Niagara Disc Jockey Association
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DJ Licenses: What's going on in the DJ License industry
DJ Licenses in Canada

AVLA: Audio-Video Licensing Agency Inc.

AVLA (Audio-Video Licensing Agency Inc.) is a non-exclusive agency that provides licenses on behalf of record companies and producers for the purpose of broadcasting or duplicating audio and video recordings in Canada.

The Physical Carrier license will be phased out as of December 31st 2010; the Standard (All-in-One) license now covers the use of CD-Rs.

The Standard (All-in-One) license:

DJ's who copy music onto a hard drive source (Digital Program) using MPEG-3 or an equivalent form of compression, and make compilations on CD-Rs, Tapes, or Mini-discs, require this license.

Some terms of this license include:

  • This license is valid from the date of execution until December 31st of the same year (license fees are not prorated)
  • You may copy music on MP3 or equivalent form of compression (not a higher form)
  • Copies can be made on any of the following recordable media: CDs, CD-Rs, cassettes, minidiscs, DATs, DVDs, memory cards and hard drives (external or internal), by means of which sounds may be reproduced
  • You are allowed only one (1) hard drive source and unlimited compilation discs
  • Licensee may retain one (1) backup copy, provided that the Sound Recordings are not performed in public
  • This license is non-transferable and is for your sole use of you and your company's employees
  • You may not sell music compilations. The music is for LEASE only and are subject to recall at the end of the agreement or at AVLA's discretion
  • You also have the option to create a sampler of 30 second clips to promote your business as long as you do not edit or alter the music in any way except to make the 30 second clip
  • The programs are for use in the territory of Canada only
  • AVLA and the record companies are not obligated to provide the source music
  • Your copies must be from the commercial product made by the record companies to assure quality
  • Digital downloads from the internet are prohibited, unless from an AVLA approved source
  • AVLA reserves the right to exclude certain songs as directed by the record companies (ex. restricted artists)
  • As an AVLA licensee, your display license should accompany you to every event

Fee: The license fee is $312.50 (plus an administrative fee of $25) per computer hard drive.

Video Road Show License:

This license allows a company to copy music videos to incorporate into digital programs using MPEG-1 encoding and/or analogue programs for performance at various venues across Canada.

Fee: $650.00 per System

iPod Weddings - Single Event License

Copying music onto an iPod type device or burning custom CDs may be an option for a wedding reception. Buying a license will allow the client to make copies of copyrighted sound recordings for their event.

Fee: $50 per event


SOCAN is the Canadian copyright collective that administers the performing rights of more than 90,000 composer, author and music publisher members by licensing the use of their music in Canada. SOCAN collects license fees on their behalf and distribute royalties to them.

Venues are responsible for the yearly SOCAN fee. The fees are based on 3 factors: how many months the room operates during the year, the room’s capacity, and how many days of the week the room is open for dancing.

Example of a SOCAN fee: The room operates year round and is open for dancing 1 to 3 days a week: $534.66 per 100 person capacity yearly.

DJ Licenses in the USA
Simply put, they don't exist. There are no unique licensing arrangements available to a disc jockey or entertainment company in the U.S. that would allow it to create multiple copies of its' own recorded music libraries. Furthermore, the record labels generally do not grant permissions that compete with the wholesale and retail products already in distribution. DJs are required to purchase their music through legitimate retail/wholesale channels or licensed subscription services.

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