Song needed

Discussion in 'The Big Show' started by rickryan.com, Dec 1, 2017.

  1. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    "Public Performance" is anything out of your home or car. That is why BMI and ASCAP can double-dip by charging a restaurant that plays a radio or satellite music in the background, even if the station being played has already paid their BMI and ASCAP fees.

    In any event, I'm not an attorney or a performance rights agent; I don't want to argue or debate the minutia of DJing gigs, only point out that OZ isn't all-knowing or all-powerful... ;)

    GJ
     
    Jeff Romard and ittigger like this.
  2. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    This is because the benefactor in a restaurant environment, is the restaurant (who has a goal to make a profit).

    A wedding is invitation only and is a group of friends and family. A wedding is not a commercial business continually having the same event in a for profit capacity and using music to help generate that traffic.

    You are correct, Oz isn't all knowing or all powerful - but he does have answers to some things (same as anyone else).

    For reference:

    ASCAP
    'A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place or any place where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances). A public performance is also one that is transmitted to the public; for example, radio or television broadcasts, music-on-hold, cable television, and by the internet. Generally, those who publicly perform music obtain permission from the owner of the music or his representative. However, there are a few limited exceptions, (called "exemptions") to this rule. Permission is not required for music played or sung as part of a worship service unless that service is transmitted beyond where it takes place (for example, a radio or television broadcast). Performances as part of face to face teaching activity at a non-profit educational institutions are also exempt.'

    Mobile Beat
    'When any public establishment such as restaurants, bars, public venues, plays music or hosts Karaoke or hires a band or musical performer for the entertainment of patrons or spectators the artists whose music is being played are entitled to compensation.'

    'The establishment reaps the benefits of the music being played, thus they are responsible for the fees.'

    ASCAP
    'Private events such as weddings, etc. are exempt from licensing.'

    BMI
    'events such as private parties and weddings are not required to have a license.'

    SESAC
    'Royalty fees are not collected for private performances.'
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  3. steve149

    steve149 Urbane Legend

    Likes Received:
    23,947
    Location:
    Prospect, CT
    Actually, no, a public performance is to an audience that can't be construed as a close group of associates. In any case, unless YOU are charging for an event, the publicness or privateness of an event will fall on the client in most cases.
     
    ittigger likes this.
  4. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    So what about venues that have in-house systems, or work exclusively with only one DJ? That is certainly a benefit for the venue and a service provided by them, using music normally falling under standard copyright conditions for different gatherings of members of the public several times per week. That is harder to justify as "not public" and exempt. There are subtleties and exceptions to everything, which is why I said I'm not looking for a debate, and I'm not trying to pass the bar exam, only trying to expose the multiple layers of possible issues here. This is all separate from the Internet-based rights issues... My point is that time-shifting does not apply, IMHO.

    Last post on the subject for me. Handle things as each of you feel justified and pleased to do. But my point was it is and will continue to be more complicated than "time-shifting = no dilemma." That is all.

    GJ

    PS-- See link below to get a better idea of what I'm talking about. The "wedding" itself is not responsible for p.r.o. payments, but the venue where the wedding is held is:

    Licensing and Paying for Music Performances for Private Social, Corporate and Non-Profit Events | Entire Productions Blog

    Aaaaannnyway...
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  5. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    The type of system does not matter - in house or other. If the venue works with only one DJ does not matter. The type of event does matter. If the event is a private function (an event among a close group of friends, family and it's social acquaintances), then it is not a public performance.

    You should handle things as you each feel justified - but you should also know the law and how it applies to you as a performer and what the legal definition of a private or public event means to you and to your customer, as well as the ramifications of each.
     
  6. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    I promised not to respond anymore, so I will send the rest of the links directly to you in a PM, if that's ok with you. YES, truly knowing the law is important. No, there are no freebies. Someone pays (as they should).

    GJ
     
    azdeejay and ittigger like this.
  7. azdeejay

    azdeejay DJ Extraordinaire

    Likes Received:
    1,941
    Location:
    Phoenix AZ
    I think you should post the links here, it could be beneficial for some .
     
  8. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    Read the transcript at the bottom:

    05:02:13 PM [Natasha] Who would pay for the licensing of a DJ or band performing at a special private event?
    05:02:57 PM [Emily (from ASCAP)] If it is a private event such as a wedding reception or birthday party, etc. no licensing is needed

    no licensing = no fees.

    I think you got lost in this part:
    'Most of the time, the venue itself is responsible for paying those organizations a blanket fee based on a survey of their events, event space size, etc.

    The statement is correct but applies as a general statement covering all venues. Restaurants, a venue which may use music to help draw a crowd in to make more money, does need to have this licensing in place. Hotels, which may have a bar with a DJ/band/jukebox, which also uses music to generate more money, would also need to have this licensing in place. A wedding (which isn't generating a profit) at this same hotel, which is a private event/performance, does not need licensing.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
    steve149 and azdeejay like this.
  9. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Because you asked, azdeejay...

    Read these all the way through and tell me if you'd want to chance the definition of "private event" between you and say, 400 of your closest friends in a court of law.***

    I'm not trying to slay any sacred cows. I'm not saying DJ's need to pay p.r.o.'s! But the venue _DOES PAY_ (if they don't, they are out of compliance).

    ***Again I'm not talking the bride, or the DJ, the responsibility is on the venue. Nonetheless, the responsibility is there.

    ASCAP and BMI Licensing and Rules For Music at Private Events: How to Determine If You Need a License

    And from your very own "Mobile Beat"--

    http://www.mobilebeat.com/prosanddjs/

    Tagging myself out guys. Do as you see fit. Really. It's all good.

    GJ
     
    azdeejay likes this.
  10. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    It's not up to you to define it - the law already has.

    A venue pays ONLY if they are using music in a commercial capacity.

    There is no responsibility for a private event. None for the Bride, Groom, DJ or venue.

    From the site you posted (read it):

    'When any public establishment such as restaurants, bars, public venues, plays music or hosts Karaoke or hires a band or musical performer for the entertainment of patrons or spectators the artists whose music is being played are entitled to compensation.'

    Translated - When any public establishment such as Applebees, Hooters, Holiday Inn, Gaylord Convention Center - plays music, hosts Karaoke or hires a band or musical performer for the entertainment of guests, the artists whose music is being played are entitled to compensation.

    When you play a wedding (private event), the B/G is who hires you, not the venue. If the Gaylord Convention Center hired you to play music in the lobby as guests walked by, that is a commercial use and therefore, would need to be licensed. If WalMart hires you to play in their store, that is also commercial use.

    'The establishment reaps the benefits of the music being played, thus they are responsible for the fees.'

    Using the examples above, WalMart and Gaylord Convention Center reap the benefits, they get more customers and make more money. The Bride and Groom do not.

    Similar to what was posted previously, this is the 10,000 foot general view covering ALL venues. For a private event, there is no reaping of benefits (aka: profit). If you'll take note, he specifically states 'There are few exceptions to the need for businesses to be licensed.'. Keyword there is businesses. Restaurant, bar, public events (like a festival, circus, fair). What he doesn't specifically address is what those 'few exceptions' are - but he doesn't need to - ASCAP, BMI and SESAC already have. For private performances, there is no licensing, regardless of where you are.

    From the site you posted:

    'But before you run off and pay licensing fees to Performance Rights Organizations (PROs) like ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, some exclusions may apply to your gathering.'

    'If you’re holding a private event, it may not require you to obtain a license. Tread carefully though, like most laws there are exceptions to this rule! According to the books, a private event is a small gathering of family and close friends. So if the songs are for an intimate group of loved ones, it may be acceptable to sidestep the red tape.'

    This next part specifically applies to public establishments that may be exempt from licensing - this is a completely separate topic from a private performance - 'Some public venues are also exempt from acquiring licensure. For example: melodies used for education, in a place of worship, or in an establishment that utilizes broadcasted media, (so long as said business meets speaker sizes and regulations).'

    GJ, again, it is all good. But you should know that your private events are protected, by law.
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
  11. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    ;)

    GJ
     
    ittigger likes this.
  12. Jeff Romard

    Jeff Romard Moderator Staff Member

    Likes Received:
    8,994
    Location:
    Sydney, Nova Scotia
    Some of this is dependent on jurisdiction too. Up here any place playing music is supposed to be licensed (shopping malls. hotel lobby etc) and by inclusion any event using music becomes covered by that standard licence.

    Let's go with the staff party I'm playing this weekend. It's being held at a yacht club that has the hall on one side and public lounge on the other. It's a private event but the music will be heard on both sides so is it really private? Either way the venue is licensed for play so it really doesn't matter
     
    ittigger likes this.
  13. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Decide wisely and choose your best course of action.

    ;)

    GJ
     
    ittigger likes this.
  14. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    Yes, it really is private. The fact that other people can hear it makes no difference. Sound carries - you can't help that.

    You could walk through a hotel with 6 ballrooms - and in each room, a private event (wedding, birthday party, etc). As long as that hotel does not have its own musical performances or needs, they would not need licensing.

    In a facility such as a Yacht Club, American legion, Moose, etc - for events where they rent out their rooms, one immediate difference is that the bar did not hire the music to perform for the patrons of the bar. The bar is not making more money because of your performance. Another immediate difference is that a birthday party, wedding, etc is a private event.

    The single question that needs to be answered: Who is the benefactor of said hired music? If it is the venue or promotor, then they need licensing.

    A wedding, private event & performance, could be held outdoors on Liberty Island. A wedding could be held on the south lawn of the US capitol building - again, private event.

    05:02:57 PM [Emily (from ASCAP)] If it is a private event such as a wedding reception or birthday party, etc. no licensing is needed

    Note that it does not specify if others can hear it. Simply says private event, no licensing needed. If the audience you were hired to perform for can't be construed as a close group of family, friends and social acquaintances, then you have a public performance.

    I think you guys are getting lost on where the performance is vs what kind of performance it is.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017
    steve149 and Valerie Hicks like this.
  15. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    ;)

    GJ
     
    ittigger likes this.
  16. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
  17. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland
    First off, this is a law firm - which does not surpass the law as already shown, many times.

    From their site:

    'You do not need a license for a “private performance” of copyrighted music.'
    This is true - and has been stated many times in this thread.

    'A private party for, say, 10 people in your home clearly is a “private performance” as intended under U.S. Copyright Laws.'
    This is true and I've never shown otherwise.

    'A “private” party with 2,500 attendees at a country club, however, is distinctly less so, and in many situations, that kind of event could be subject to music licensing requirements.'
    This 'could' be true - and they also specify 'could' - as a 'private' event is a close circle of family, friends and its social acquaintances. 2500 people may not fit this description - as has also been stated. It does not say it's NOT a private event. It says it may not be a private event and 'could' be subject to licensing - and it is if it's not a private event. A wedding or birthday party in LA could potentially have 2500 guests - and could be a private event.

    'Whether admission fees are charged is an important consideration. If, for example, guests have to pay any kind of fee to attend the event, any recorded music that is playing is unlikely to be seen as a private performance in the eyes of the law.'
    This is also true. If you're charging for attendance, then it most likely is not a close circle of family, friends and its acquaintances. Additionally, there is a benefactor (promotor) - and this was also previously stated.

    'When it comes to public establishments, playing your private music collection over the sound system for customers in your bar or restaurant clearly is not a private performance.'
    This is true too - and also previously stated. Keywords - 'for customers in your bar or restaurant'.

    This is not any different than anything I have been posting.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2017
  18. rhythmgj

    rhythmgj DJ Extraordinaire (Hey, Everybody's Doing It!)

    Likes Received:
    1,260
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    Yes it is, you're not reading carefully (not without your own filter glued firmly in-place). Yes, a law firm! To be believed, regarding the law, infinitely more than random Internet forum guys (you and I included) when it comes to legal opinions!!

    I'm done trying to get you to see anything other than what you insist is the only possible interpretation. It wasn't what the thread was about, it wasn't really what I was talking about, it isn't, as I've explained, what I want to split hairs about (yet here we are). Most of all, I have enjoyed this site and the forums and your many posts, and I don't want to cause any ill-will. You are free to interpret things any way you wish. It is highly unlikely that the situation will ever be a problem for anyone that contributes to this site. HOWEVER, I pray that someone reading this thread, will read what I have posted with an open mind and see what I am pointing to. As the saying goes "The More You Know...;" information might come in handy someday if there's a chance someone in authority may interpret the law differently than ittiger is here.

    I will not flog a dead horse, and I virtually guarantee my friend ittiger will not be able to resist the last word here, so once again for the record-- Read Carefully and Choose Wisely!

    ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;) ;)

    GJ
     
    ittigger likes this.
  19. Scott Hanna

    Scott Hanna DJ Extraordinaire

    Likes Received:
    4,779
    Location:
    Cleveland, OH
    I don’t hold events. I’m hired to play music.

    If it’s a public event, the venue needs to obtain the license. If it’s a private event, they don’t.

    I don’t bother deciding which one it is because it has nothing to do with me.
     
  20. ittigger

    ittigger 100 Acre Industry Icon

    Likes Received:
    9,727
    Location:
    Western Maryland

    GJ, I have no beef with you nor am I trying to debate with you. I'm also not trying to be combative. I am also not stating a legal opinion as I am not a lawyer, nor do I pretend to be one. With that said, I don't think you need to be a lawyer to read the law and/or to understand the quotes as given by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and other organizations. In the event that you think there needs to be a lawyer to interpret it, the site you gave was a lawyers page - and they agree with the information I have presented.

    I have not insisted that 'my' interpretation is the only possible interpretation. I have insisted that the quotes provided by ASCAP, BMI and others are the only possible interpretation (and they all say the same thing) - as they would be the ones coming after you.

    Like you, I also love this site and the people and I am trying to share the info I can find as I also don't want people to do the wrong thing. I might agree with you if I was quoting the milkman or other people not directly involved with the law and how it applies. My legal opinion, if any, is to operate within the law - that's it. I would also like people to operate ethically.

    With that in mind, based on the information I can find (and you can too, it's all readily available on the web) - there is very little room to interpret it any other way than how US law states it and how ASCAP, BMI and SESAC interpret it (as they would be the ones coming after you). They have spelled it out explicitly. This is why I'm confused about what you don't understand.

    If someone will come after you over royalties, it will be ones of these groups. Being that they explicitly state that there are no licenses needed for private performances, it would be kind of stupid for them to come after you over a private performance (they'd be fighting US law as well as their own statements). If you are using it in a commercial performance, then it is the venue or the promoter (benefactor) that is responsible for any and all licensing (this is also spelled out in the above posts).

    PS: A wedding, birthday party, etc where the normal circle of a family, friends and its social acquaintances has gathered (as specified by US law and quoted by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and others) is NOT a commercial performance - performing for the patrons of a bar is (as also specified by US law and quoted by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and others).

    You don't have to take my word for it - and you shouldn't. Again, I have posted quotes directly from these organizations and they're all easily found online. I've also given links to the information so you can see it yourself. Mobile Beat has also repeated what I've shown and again, so has the lawyer site you gave.

    The US Law that covers this is US Code, Title 17 (Copyright Law Of The United States), Chapter 1, Section 101
    Search on the word 'family' and you'll find it. The first one covers motion pictures, the second one covers audio. The following link goes directly to the US Government Copyright Office and to Title 17, Chapter 1, Section 101.

    Chapter 1 - Circular 92 | U.S. Copyright Office

    'To perform or display a work “publicly” means—

    (1) to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered'

    I have shown you all the info I can find. This is not stuff I'm making up nor quotes by random Internet forums or people. I'm showing you factual information, quotes by the licensing organizations and US laws. Please show us - based on any and all information available - where a birthday party, wedding or other private event where the normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances has gathered, is subject to licensing requirements.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2017 at 11:05 PM
    azdeejay likes this.