Do you play music in your establishment? You must know that you need a license for that or you risk paying penalties. In fact most business owners dont realize that how they play music is as important as the music they play and it can be a tremendous liability.
More and more establishments are sued for thousands of dollars for not having the license to play music to their customers. Unfortunately, many businesses do not know that music is copyrighted and songs require a license before they are played legally. They also do not think that they would get caught and sued by those who own the songs that they are using. Because of this, they are caught off guard when authorities come knocking at their door.
Performance rights organizations (PROs) are actively seeking people who use non-licensed music for commercial purposes. This includes owners of establishments like restaurants, stores, bars, and supermarkets. If you own an establishment or are working in one, you should not play music aloud without getting the appropriate licenses for them.
Take note that including a disclaimer that you dont own the songs or giving credits to the song makers alone do not protect you from penalties. Licensing requires paying a specific amount of money and accomplishing paperwork. Doing this protects you from being fined once PRO representatives check your establishment for unlicensed songs.
Playing music in your establishment means it is for commercial use. You can usually play a song for personal use without needing a performance license. If you blast it over speakers to influence your buyers, you will need a license from PROs like BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), and SESAC (Society of European Stage Authors and Composers). Music is proven to affect customers moods and increase sales. Using someone elses work to boost your income is unfair, so you have to pay for it through the license fee.
If you have a presentation at your establishment that involves images and music, you need to get synch licensing for it. This is different from a performance license. BMI and ASCAP do not provide this type of licensing you need to talk with the songwriters and publishers. However, you can also use services that offer licensed music so that you wont have to find the makers of the song.
Take note that there are times when you wont get permission to use a particular song if the owners of the song disagree with your purpose. For example, if you intend to use religious songs in an atheist convention, its likely that the songwriters will refuse giving their songs to you. Expect that restrictions may still apply even if you purchase the song from a service that offers licensed songs in bulk. However, you may be able to find other songs that are similar to these prohibited ones because licensed song distribution services usually have a wide collection of songs on offer.
Paying copyright and royalty fees may not be among your top favorite things to do, but it can offer you several benefits. It can spare you from paying thousands of dollars, it can prevent you from acquiring a bad reputation and it can help you avoid the hassle of being interrogated by the music police. In addition, it can give you a reason to display we support music posters that will make you look good to customers and business partners
Protect your business from being penalized for playing non-licensed music. Find services that help you acquire legal songs that you can use to help improve ambiance and sales in your business without having to worry.