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Music Industry

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 basis.

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;

  1. The loss was incurred primarily to promote future sale of records, the licensing of sound recordings to an overseas record company, or future live performance income.

  2. The loss was planned i.e. the loss was budgeted for and not incurred through financial mismanagement.

  3. The entity claiming the Export Grant must control the intellectual property rights (the sound recordings) in overseas markets.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.