Phonographic Performance (South East Asia) Limited, PPSEAL has been incorporated since 1984 and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of IFPI (Hong Kong Group), the national group of IFPI.  IFPI (Hong Kong Group) is representing a majority of recording companies in Hong Kong.


The individual member of IFPI (Hong Kong Group) has authorised PPSEAL to grant non-exclusive licences to third party for the public performance or playing or showing of its owned and/or licensed musical sound/visual recordings, including oversea labels in Hong Kong.


According to the Copyright Ordinance of Hong Kong SAR (the“ Copyright Ordinance”), copyright subsists in musical sound/visual recordings, such as music videos and/or karaoke videos which are normally embodied in the form of physical objects such as records, tapes, cassettes, compact discs, laser discs and cartridges, etc.  It should however be noted that copyright in musical sound/visual recordings, is an entirely separate and independent right from the other copyright works such as musical and/or dramatical and/or literary works from which the musical sound/visual recordings are created. The Copyright of the musical sound/visual recordings is protected by the Copyright Ordinance.  Any person who without the licence of the copyright owner does or authorizes another to do any of the restricted acts infringes the copyright which would attract criminal and/or civil liability.


The restricted acts include: 

  • To copy the work (Section 23);
  • To issue copies of the work to the public (Section 24);
  • To rent copies of the work to the public (Section 25);
  • To make available copies of the work to the public (Section 26);
  • To perform, show or play the work in public (Section 27);
  • To broadcast the work or include it in a cable programme service (Section 28);
  • To make an adaptation of the work or do any of the above in relation to an adaptation (Section 29);
  • And those other restricted acts as prescribed under the Copyright Ordinance.

In Copyright Ordinance, “Musical Sound Recording” means a sound recording the whole or a predominant part of which consists of the whole or any part of a musical work or a musical work and a related literary work.


"Musical Visual Recording" means a film with an accompanying sound-track, the whole or a predominant part of which sound-track consists of the whole or any part of a musical work or a musical work and a related literary work.

Yes, according to Section 33 of the Copyright Ordinance, this constitutes secondary infringement of copyright. The copyright in a work is infringed by performing it in public without the consent of the copyright owner. Any person who gave permission for a place to be used for the public performance of the work is also liable for the infringement unless when he gave permission he believed on reasonable grounds that the performance would not infringe copyright. 


Also, according to Section 34, where copyright in a work is infringed by public performance of the work, or by playing or showing of the work in public, by means of apparatus for :-

(a)     playing sound recordings;
(b)     showing films; or
(c)     receiving visual images or sounds transmitted by electronic means. 


The following person is also liable for the infringement if he knew or had reason to believe that the apparatus was likely to be so used as to infringe copyright:-

(a)     a person who supplied the apparatus, or any substantial part of it;
(b)     an occupier of premises who gave permission for the apparatus to be brought onto the premises;
(c)     a person who supplied a copy of a sound recording or film used to infringe copyright.

Anyone performing musical sound/visual recordings such as music videos and/or karaoke videos in a public area must secure a licence from PPSEAL. 


Typical examples include: discotheques, hotels, cinemas, shopping and office complexes, shops and department stores, hairdressing salons, health centres, bowling centres, auditoriums, restaurants, bars and lounges, karaoke lounges, dance schools and dance studios, hi-fi and record shops, exhibitions, fashion shows, concerts etc.

The purchase of any musical sound/visual recording such as music videos and/or karaoke videos does not give the purchaser any right to play that music sound/visual recording in public. A separate public performance licence must be secured in advance before any person may play or show the musical sound/visual recordings in public. An application of such licence should be made through PPSEAL.

All repertoires owned or licensed by IFPI (Hong Kong Group) members who have given authorisation to PPSEAL. Their repertoires cover the majority of the commercially released recorded music in Hong Kong and oversea.

Yes, licences are granted either on an annual basis or to cover “one-off” single events.

If you do not apply for the licence, you must stop playing and/or showing the musical sound/visual recordings, in public or in your premises. However, if you continue to play or show the recorded music in public without the licence, then you are infringing the Copyright of the musical sound/visual recordings and you will be fully liable to legal proceedings.

If a bar or restaurant (including a private club with restricted membership) plays music recording from pirated VCDs/CDs or unauthorized karaoke server in the course of its business, (e.g. for the enjoyment of customers), it may commit a criminal offence.

Simply fill in the application form and return it to PPSEAL’s office. After reviewing your application, PPSEAL then will issue an invoice for the relevant licence fee. Upon receipt of your full payment thereof, the requisite licence will be issued.

After deduction of the administrative costs, all royalties collected will be distributed among the record companies themselves.