Rocksalt Bar in Kerikeri fined

A well-known bar, restaurant, and venue in Kerikeri has been fined by the high court for infringement of copyright laws

A well-known bar, restaurant, and venue in Kerikeri has been fined $22,605.61 by the high court, for their flagrant disregard for copyright and continual infringement of copyright laws, by playing background music and hosting live music events without permission or a OneMusic licence.

The fine combines the amount of $4,605.61 in lost license fees since OneMusic first notified the establishment of the need for a licence in November 2016, along with the amount of $18,000 on the basis of “the flagrancy of the breach; the importance of the music as a reason for customers’ attendance over a significant period of time; and the contempt towards the copyright regime indicated by the defendants’ behaviour” wrote judge Matthew Palmer.

APRA and OneMusic applaud the judge’s findings, along with his clear and concise judgment around the importance of music to an establishment such as Rocksalt bar, and the importance of upholding copyright laws in order that songwriters and artists be fairly compensated for the use of their work.

APRA’s Head of NZ Operations Anthony Healey said

“Issuing legal proceedings is always an absolute last resort and in this case there was no option left available.

“We did everything possible to help the business fulfil their legal obligations but were met with a brick wall. The result therefore was inevitable.

“It’s a reminder for businesses using music that songwriters and artists have rights that must be considered when using music in public.”


The full judgment can be read HERE

OneMusic license businesses that use music and return the licence fees collected as royalties. OneMusic works on behalf of member organisations APRA AMCOS and Recorded Music NZ, and after administration costs all money collected is returned to music creators as royalties.

The OneMusic Hospitality licence grants hospitality businesses the permission they need to use music – including background music, live music, DJs and Karaoke. Holding a OneMusic licence satisfies hospitality businesses’ obligations under the Copyright Act (1994) when playing music (the ‘public performance’ of music), while supporting the people that create the music they play.