Music Licensing Services

JimP0771

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
Now I am no lawyer and know nothing about the law when it comes to something like this. But I did here somewhere that If you go out and buy the sheet music to an individual song that gives you the rights to use that song for your personal use and any other use as long as you are not making a profit off it. I have never done this. I just wonder if this is not true than how do some elementary and high schools get away with using music for talent shows with out having to pay for the rights to those songs. Or is that the same idea that they are not actually selling tickets to that show and that it is free for families that they can use the music with out getting the rights for that reason. I mean if you think about it elementary and high schools across America do this all the time. I would think it would be hard for the government to track down every school district that has used some artists song for a talent show with out having paid for the rights.

Now like I stated above I have no education into any type of law of any form I just am bassing what I have left here off what I have here other people tell me and what I have experienced growing up through out life.
 

Lake Jon

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Location
Camdenton, MO
From BMI

A “public performance” of music is defined in the U.S. copyright law to include any music played outside a normal circle of friends and family. Songwriters, composers, and music publishers have the exclusive right to play their music publicly and to authorize others to do so under the copyright law. This is known as the “Performing Right”. This right was designed to enable and encourage music creators to continue to create music.

When you see the words “All Rights Reserved” on a movie that you’ve rented or purchased, you know that playing that movie before a public audience is prohibited. The same restrictions apply to music that is purchased, broadcast, or live musicians that are hired to play in a public setting. Every business or organization must receive permission from the copyright owners of the music they are playing before playing it publicly.

So, this tells me a small Private Club is excluded.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Now I am no lawyer and know nothing about the law when it comes to something like this. But I did here somewhere that If you go out and buy the sheet music to an individual song that gives you the rights to use that song for your personal use and any other use as long as you are not making a profit off it. I have never done this. I just wonder if this is not true than how do some elementary and high schools get away with using music for talent shows with out having to pay for the rights to those songs. Or is that the same idea that they are not actually selling tickets to that show and that it is free for families that they can use the music with out getting the rights for that reason. I mean if you think about it elementary and high schools across America do this all the time. I would think it would be hard for the government to track down every school district that has used some artists song for a talent show with out having paid for the rights.

Now like I stated above I have no education into any type of law of any form I just am bassing what I have left here off what I have here other people tell me and what I have experienced growing up through out life.
You were told wrong.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
I believe there are educational and religious exceptions.
No, but there are performing rights organizations that take care of *compulsory* licenses for those markets. You also may be conflating "fair use" with performance in or by an educational institution. They are not the same. In fair use, a composition or song could be studied or analyzed by a music theory class, the lyrics in a songwriting class, or used in teaching singing, playing an instrument, etc... but the right to perform "the work" in a setting outside the instructional setting does NOT come with purchase of the sheet music or other 'affixing' of the work.

Edit PS: music composed for specific markets *may* be sold with certain rights attached, but those do not negate the need for proper compulsory licensing for the use of other works in a house of worship or performances staged by an educational institution.
 
Last edited:

JimP0771

Active Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Location
Upstate NY
No, but there are performing rights organizations that take care of *compulsory* licenses for those markets. You also may be conflating "fair use" with performance in or by an educational institution. They are not the same. In fair use, a composition or song could be studied or analyzed by a music theory class, the lyrics in a songwriting class, or used in teaching singing, playing an instrument, etc... but the right to perform "the work" in a setting outside the instructional setting does NOT come with purchase of the sheet music or other 'affixing' of the work.

Edit PS: music composed for specific markets *may* be sold with certain rights attached, but those do not negate the need for proper compulsory licensing for the use of other works in a house of worship or performances staged by an educational institution.

I figured this thanks for the clarification. I don't deal with the rights to the music for the school districs I just let them deal with that. I just go and watch my family in the talent shows as a member of the audience. However I have always wondered how they got the rights to use that music for talent shows and winter and spring concerts. Thanks for clarification
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
I figured this thanks for the clarification. I don't deal with the rights to the music for the school districs I just let them deal with that. I just go and watch my family in the talent shows as a member of the audience. However I have always wondered how they got the rights to use that music for talent shows and winter and spring concerts. Thanks for clarification
It's been a couple of decades or so, but schools got 'hit up' by ASCAP and BMI and the schools had zero experience with dealing with those agencies. At least 1 company was formed to become an administrative interface between BMI/ASCAP/SESAC and schools and charge a fee for the convenience. Similar situation for houses of worship. The growth of streaming & podcasting educational sessions and religious services has caused some head-scratching. Some of the HoW licensing does not permit streaming (considered broadcasting) while others do. I'm sure it's minefield at some level.

But the talent shows, music department concerts, pep band playing, music at the ball game... if it's for the physically proximate audience (and not a play or musical, which have separate performance rights), those things are all covered by the compulsory licenses. No separate forms, applications, billing or payments per song or composition.
 

TimMc

Well-Known Member
Premium Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2017
Yes. If there is music presented to the public, whether live or recorded, licenses are generally required.
 

Lake Jon

Member
Joined
Feb 8, 2021
Location
Camdenton, MO
Wedding receptions are private and it seems like most event centers don't even know what ASCAP and BMI are. DJs know about BMI and ASCAP, but simply pass the responsibility to the venue.

BMI licenses the “public performance” of music… events such as private parties and weddings are not required to have a license.
– Jaqui Garlan, BMI


PRS for Music does not make a charge for functions of a purely domestic or family nature, such as wedding receptions, christening parties or domestic birthday parties, when:

  • Attendance of guests is by personal invitation only (except for staff, performers, etc.)
  • The function is held in a privately-booked room, not at that time open to the general public
  • There is no form of charge made for admission
  • There is no financial gain to the function’s organiser or host (e.g. the person hiring the venue)“​
PRS for music Website http://www.prsformusic.com
 

MRW Lights

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2017
Location
NYC
Wedding receptions are private and it seems like most event centers don't even know what ASCAP and BMI are. DJs know about BMI and ASCAP, but simply pass the responsibility to the venue.

BMI licenses the “public performance” of music… events such as private parties and weddings are not required to have a license.
– Jaqui Garlan, BMI


PRS for Music does not make a charge for functions of a purely domestic or family nature, such as wedding receptions, christening parties or domestic birthday parties, when:

  • Attendance of guests is by personal invitation only (except for staff, performers, etc.)
  • The function is held in a privately-booked room, not at that time open to the general public
  • There is no form of charge made for admission
  • There is no financial gain to the function’s organiser or host (e.g. the person hiring the venue)“​
PRS for music Website http://www.prsformusic.com
Yes and.... this is most often covered in a majority of venues by default of their having annual blanket licenses to cover 1 event. Typically the cost of 1 event to 1 year of an annual blanket permit is neglible when considering CYA... however this also comes from experience in the great state of NJ where the wedding business is.... let's put it this way... You don't mess with the wedding business. The average budget of a wedding reception venue in NJ is 40-60k for 100 guests... they can afford licensing.

Also if you're in the area feel free to tour NJ wedding venues on off season weekends. If you sit through a 30 minutes sales pitch you can usually land yourself a nice brunch compliments of the reception down the hall 😂
 

Ancient Engineer

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2017
Location
Sandusky, Ohio
Sooo... This is one of the things I do here at the amusement park.

It is a challenge. There are four major licensing agencies that we work with to get the full spectrum of popular music to play.

We have park ambient music (in a few zones with differing genres) We have restaurant music (each licensed individually).

We have to get mechanicals and performance because we have live bands.

Annnnd... if there's cast dancing, defined to me once by an SESAC rep as "rhythmic foot lifting", including cast members walking across stage with the same BPM as a playing background song its a whole new rate. Higher, of course.

I spend days doing reporting of use.

I have to remind everyone constantly that, No you cannot just play Spotify off your phone into a park system...

It is why I am losing my hair as such a young age...
 

Morte615

Active Member
Joined
Sep 21, 2011
Location
Clermont, FL
I have to remind everyone constantly that, No you cannot just play Spotify off your phone into a park system...

It is why I am losing my hair as such a young age...
Ride nights where we the ops didn't understand that you couldn't just tape the talk button down on the ride mic and play your phone through it. And us having to keep shutting them down. I always found it so annoying that they wouldn't just give us heads up of at least a day and we could have had something ready.
 

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