Thousands could be added to the cost of a gym membership in Australia after the Copyright Tribunal said that gym owners were not paying enough for music played in their establishments.
The decision, handed down by the Copyright Tribunal will see the cost for gyms using music during fitness classes rise from $0.96 cents to $15 a class or $1 per attendee.
Fitness Australia said that the rise represented a 1500 per cent increase in music costs for an average-size fitness centre.
Chief Executive, Loretta Stace, told the Sydney Morning Herald that the gym was now reviewing the decision to determine whether there were grounds for appeal.
She said record companies had “shot themselves in the foot” as many fitness centres were already starting to use music that was not subject to Phonographic Performance Company of Australia (PPCA) copyright.
The PPCA, which brought the claim, welcomed the decision and said that the new fees were a reasonable increase on “peppercorn” rates the fitness industry had previously paid.
Deputy president of the Copyright Tribunal, federal magistrate Rolf Driver, acknowledged the new fees constituted a significant rise in charges for the use of original songs.