As with the film industry, the ability to claim an export grant in the music
industry, though intellectual property, revolves around the Export Grant claimant
being the owner or exclusive licensee of copyright in either the sound recording
or musical work. Ownership of a trademark may allow merchandising rights to
be exploited. A musical group can also now claim a grant based on the
delivery of entertainment services. Monies spent by record companies, which
are recoverable from a group's share of revenue on costs such as tour support,
independent promotion and videos, may be eligible in certain circumstances,
for a rebate in the hands of the musical group. Record companies are able
to claim all marketing costs incurred to the extent that they are not to be
reimbursed those costs, other than from successful export sales.
Potentially a musical group may also base an export grant claim on the export
of audio visual (video) rights.
The expenditure claimed must directly relate to the rights being promoted.
This sometimes creates a complex situation where a group may be simultaneously
marketing a number of rights through live performances, such as future live
performance income, the sale of sound recordings or royalty income from the
exploitation of their songs. Austrade will deal with applications on a case-by-case
If the various intellectual property rights are held in different companies,
then this would need to be considered in the overall appropriate structuring
of the grant applications, to satisfy Austrade's requirements.
Under amendments to the Export Grant Scheme, touring losses of performers
and musicians, will potentially qualify for the 50% cash rebate available
under the Export Grant Scheme. Previously overseas touring costs only qualified,
where a group received no performance income.
The tour losses will be claimable in the following circumstances;
The loss was incurred primarily to promote future sale of records, the
licensing of sound recordings to an overseas record company, or future live
The loss was planned i.e. the loss was budgeted for and not incurred through
The entity claiming the Export Grant must control the intellectual property
rights (the sound recordings) in overseas markets.
Where a contribution to a touring loss is claimed by a record company
or music publisher, rather than a musical group, then if a contribution
to touring costs is made, that contribution will qualify provided it is
not for accommodation and sustenance. In lieu of accommodation and sustenance,
a $300 daily per diem allowance per tour member is allowed by Austrade.
Apart from accommodation and sustenance, all other touring costs would
qualify including production, lights, advertising and transport. Equipment
hire qualifies but not equipment purchases. If a van in which a musical
group travels overseas is hired, the hire costs will qualify but if a van
is purchased and sold at the end of the tour, the costs of purchasing the
van or the loss incurred on the sale of the van will not qualify.