Communities May Need Licenses to Play Music

January 4, 2013 | Aging Services Risk Management


​The three organizations that hold copyrights for music in the United States—the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and SESAC—have contacted some LeadingAge members, stating that they are violating copyright laws by playing music in a public space and asking them to apply for a license to play music in the community, reports an article in the December 20, 2012, Connection newsletter from LeadingAge Texas. According to the article, "the holder of the copyright or its assigns (BMI, SESAC or ASCAP) has the exclusive right to reproduce the work and, in the case of a sound recording, to perform the copyrighted work publicly." Performing a work includes playing a compact disc, broadcasting music, or turning on a radio, and performing publicly means performing it wherever a "a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of family and its social acquaintances is gathered" or by other means accessible to the public.

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