Gym Music Battle Still Undecided

Back in September, we told you how the use of cover versions in gyms was on the rise in response to a proposed increase in fees charged for music. That change has been rejected by the Federal Court, but the battle isn't over yet.

As Smart Company reports it, the Federal Court has ruled that the decision to raise the typical per-class fee from $1 to around $15 should be sent back to the Copyright Tribunal for review. However, since the tribunal was the body which originally approved the change, the final outcome is unclear. And gyms which have switched to using cheaper, unlicensed recordings might decide to stick with that fee-free approach even the rules shift back.

Have you seen a change in music at your gym? Would you prefer original recordings, or does the quality of the class matter more to you? Tell us in the comments.

Fitness industry welcomes Federal Court ruling to reject Copyright Tribunal broadcast fee hike [Smart Company]


    Reminds me of a similar battle back in the 60s. The result was that local Australian artists covered the overseas hits for radio/LP distribution in Australia.

      Indeed - the year was 1970 and provided a temporary bonanza for local bands (eg. The Mixtures) and labels (eg. Fable). There's a nice summary under "1970 Radio Ban" on Wikipedia.

    i personally have the cover music they have at the gym (fitness first), the music they play in the main gym area is ok...i guess but in the rpm and spin classes they cover mainstream radio music and it sounds horrible mostly due to the fact everyone is used to the real thing.

    They also play a cover of my favorite band (pendulum) and it's so far off the real thing it even puts me off the class.

    I know im a bit petty about it but it seems like greedy money savings to me, especially due to the amount i pay.

    So they were getting $1, they demanded $15, and now they get nothing, cos of the covers. Copyright Tribunal must suck at poker.

    So let me get this straight....
    The gyms pay for the instructor to lead the class, they pay for the carpet on the floor.... Hell, they even pay for the damn water in the showers!
    But they don't want to pay for the music, which is probably the most essential element of the whole affair? Why does the artist not have a right to be paid for their work if it is used to generate income for a commercial enterprise?

      The artists were getting paid. They wanted to raise their prices by %1400. Why should gyms be the only consumers in Australia without the right to stop buying a product if they feel the price is too high?

        Lifehacker has misquoted the article. The proposed increase is to $15 per class or $1 per attendee. The current license fee is 96.8 cents per fitness class, capped at $2,654 a year. (Not many gyms reach the cap, as that would require them to run over two and a half thousand classes per year!)
        My local gym charges nearly $20 per person per class. (Less if you are a member) They would regularly have 20 or 30 people per class. Do the math!
        The gyms want to spend less than a dollar for the music they use to generate that kind of income? Seriously? That's less than most people would pay for the petrol to drive to the gym! (Yes, sarcasm intentional!)
        Yes, David, the gyms have "the right to stop buying a product if they feel the price is too high". But remember, you can't have the product if you don't want to pay the asking price. The gyms want to dictate the price and terms, and not negotiate a fair and reasonable price.

    Although the type of music doesn't matter that much to me, jumping fees from $1=>$15 is ridiculous. If you want to kill off your music license revenue in just increase your fees in one year by 1500%. So, I think this will hurt the greedy operators, and create opportunity for new distributors and performers to get into the market.

    If the tribunal had a brain cell between them, they would stagger the increases over 3 or 5 years. And if they had a 2nd brain cell they would have seen what happened to the general music industry over the last 10 years after Napster and Kazaar sprung up crushing revenue income for the big players. They had to respond by actually dropping their RRP on albums/singles.

    It actually rationalised the industry and made music more affordable.

    I think gym's should have to be sound-proofed so innocent bystanders don't have to suffer the noise pollution of either the crappy copyrighted music or the non-copyrighted music.

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