The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has granted the Australasian Performing Right Assn (APRA) "re-authorization" after the authors' society agreed to simplify its rules for direct dealing between composers and music users.

Authorization provides protection from court action for conduct that might otherwise raise concerns under the competition provisions of the Trade Practices Act 1974.

The ACCC has granted authorization for three-and-a-half years, subject to two conditions which it says are "principally designed to encourage consideration, where appropriate, of alternatives to blanket licences."

As previously reported, in February the body invited comment on its concern that some of APRA's arrangements were onerous and unreasonably restricted direct dealing between composers and users.

In response, APRA has agreed to streamline the process for members to license back some of their works on a non-exclusive basis and deal directly with music users, while putting into place improvements to its dispute resolution process.

The ACCC has granted new authorization until Oct. 31, 2013. APRA's arrangements were first authorized in 2000 and re-authorized by the ACCC in 2006 for four years.