Gyms Appeal Fee Hike

Industry association Fitness Australia has appealed against the 1,500 percent fee hike for playing music in gyms.

It claims the Copyright Tribunal did not “properly” follow legal procedure, deciding only on a “maximum fee” rather than asking whether the hike in fees was “reasonable in the circumstances within … the Copyright Act.”

The fees go from 96.8 cents, capped at $2,654 a year, to $15 per fitness class.

This would mean that an average-sized centre with 1,500 members running 30 classes a week would go from paying $1,510 a year to $23,400.

Fitness Australia, which represents 1,200 gyms, says most gyms can’t afford it.

Association CEO Lauretta Stace says that many gyms have since the May decision switched to playing cover versions of hits to avoid the fees, and hopes that the Aussie recorded music industry comes to its senses.