Novelty ring tones breach copyright

Does your phone play the theme to Mission Impossible or the latest Britney Spears hit every time it rings? If so, you may be in breach of copyright laws. According to legal experts, web sites that offer consumers a list of song and movie theme ring tones, and those who use them, are infringing on the composer's copyright. The Australian Performing Rights Association (APRA), a body that collects royalties for musicians, claims that such sites are operating without a license. The only songs that are out of copyright are those whose composers have been dead for 50 years or more.

‘Ring, ring, why don't you give me a call – but get a licence', David Higgins, The Sydney Morning Herald, 28/08/00, p 3.