Live Music in Your Bar: Don’t Get in Trouble Over Music Rights

Live Music in Your Bar: Don’t Get in Trouble Over Music Rights

Nothing beats a hometown bar with a great cover band. Live music, cold drinks, and that friendly neighborhood atmosphere can bring a smile to everyone’s face. For bar owners, however, there can be hidden complications to having live music. In fact, live music has become a trap for the unwary in recent years.

Small bars from coast to coast are coming under scrutiny and even getting sued by large royalties enforcement companies. The lawsuits are often baseless and targeted at small mom and pop bars and restaurants. The good news is, if your business is being threatened with a copyright lawsuit or you’ve received threatening letters or phone calls, you don’t have to go through it alone. A South Carolina entertainment lawyer can help review your situation and respond to allegations.

What Is Copyright Infringement?

Under federal law, a copyright is defined as any of the following works that represent a unique production by someone:

  • (1) Written and literary materials
  • (2) Music (including lyrics)
  • (3) Plays, performances, and so forth (including the music that goes with them)
  • (4) Pantomimes and dance routines (choreography)
  • (5) Pictures, photographs, graphic designs, and sculptures
  • (6) Movies and TV shows (any type of motion picture or other audio-visual creative work)
  • (7) Audio recordings
  • (8) Architectural designs and schematics

Infringement occurs when you use someone else’s creative work for your own financial gain without attribution or payment.

What Are Royalties?

Royalties are payments made for the purpose of purchasing limited rights to use artistic materials. There are a number of large companies that hold contracts with artists, bands, studios, and songwriters. Under these contracts, these companies have the right to collect royalties from anyone wanting to use these works for profit. In turn, they take a fee and pass on royalties to the artists. By acting as middlemen, these companies have a strong incentive to enforce the rules and collect from anyone they think is breaking the rules. Some of the biggest companies are:

  • BMI: Broadcast Music, Inc.
  • SESAC: Society of European Stage Authors and Composers
  • ASCAP: American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers

How Can A Bar Violate A Copyright By Letting Cover Bands Perform?

In order for a band to play music written and originally recorded by someone else, that “cover band” must obtain rights to do so, usually by paying royalties. You may be thinking, “but shouldn’t the cover band be responsible for paying royalties?” The answer is a bit complicated. Yes, the band is playing copyrighted material for profit, but they are, in turn, being paid by the bar owner to do so. Therefore, the violation is usually passed on to the party who hired them to infringe the copyright. And this is precisely how so many bars get in trouble.

What To Do If Threatened By BMI, SESAC Or ASCAP

First, the National Restaurant Association provides some helpful tips for avoiding problems to begin with. If you’ve already received a cease and desist letter from a large corporation or their attorneys, you should immediately schedule an appointment to speak with an attorney of your own. Find out if you are indeed breaking the rules. If so, an attorney may be able to assist you in gaining legal authority to continue having a cover band perform. If not, an attorney can help you defend against a frivolous suit. Don’t let a threat letter keep you up at night. Contact the Klok Law Firm LLC to schedule an appointment to discuss your case today.

  • Football Solutions Rooney sees the light with United - UEFA Champions League - News
    Posted at 04:30h, 06 November

    Following their League Cup defeat to Southampton, Liverpool’s miserable slump continues and the absence of one man is becoming all the more obvious.  Liverpool are struggling without Sadio Mane… the statistics for Jurgen Klopp’s side without the dynamic forward are damning and show just how much the £30m man is missed

  • Guardiola calls time on Barcelona reign
    Posted at 14:42h, 19 November

    Here’s Sportsmail’s selection of 10 stars to keep an eye out for in the United States this summer… your club’s scouts might well be doing the same. Copa America 10 players to watch… the not-so-famous names to look out for, from Carlos Bacca to Jose Maria Gimenez

  • eebest8
    Posted at 15:36h, 13 March

    “Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other sites? I have a blog based upon on the same information you discuss and would love to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work. If you are even remotely interested, feel free to shoot me an email.”

  • Marketing & Advertising Agency in Dallas Fort Worth
    Posted at 06:35h, 15 March

    Im obliged for the post.Really thank you! Cool.

  • mike myers ethnicity
    Posted at 14:36h, 19 March

    I really like and appreciate your article.Thanks Again. Much obliged.

  • gjv
    Posted at 14:16h, 23 March

    Thanks for sharing, this is a fantastic blog.Thanks Again. Will read on…

  • office furniture installation
    Posted at 18:54h, 25 March

    Really informative blog.Much thanks again.

  • chwilówki
    Posted at 05:52h, 30 March

    Thanks-a-mundo for the article post.Really thank you! Cool.

  • Yeezy Shoes
    Posted at 00:13h, 01 April

    qfwxcsafp,This website truly has alll of the information and facts I wanted about this subject and didn?t know who to ask.

  • Why Everything You Know About MAKE MONEY IN RECESSION Is A Lie
    Posted at 02:10h, 01 April

    Enjoyed every bit of your blog.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.

  • Yeezy 350
    Posted at 19:39h, 04 April

    kyhikl Adidas Yeezy,Hi there, just wanted to say, I liked this article. It was helpful. Keep on posting!

  • Funeral Flowers same day delivery in NY
    Posted at 04:05h, 05 April

    I am so grateful for your article.Really thank you! Will read on…

  • Nike VaporMax Flyknit
    Posted at 07:58h, 06 April

    pgjetcduuox,If you want a hassle free movies downloading then you must need an app like showbox which may provide best ever user friendly interface.

  • Yeezy 350
    Posted at 22:25h, 06 April

    ksgeesvqygh,We have a team of experts who could get you the correct settings for Bellsouth net email login through which, you can easily configure your email account with MS Outlook.

  • Austgex
    Posted at 12:03h, 07 April

    Viagra Rosa Prezzo Cialis Y Vih viagra online prescription Rx India Pharmacies Online

  • Cheap NFL Jerseys
    Posted at 22:01h, 07 April

    xwkilk,Thanks for sharing such an amazing blog. I am so happy found this informative blog.

  • Nike Air VaporMax
    Posted at 22:55h, 09 April

    ypssptgkp,Thanks for sharing this recipe with us!!

  • Balenciaga
    Posted at 21:08h, 10 April

    felgdh,Are you searching for top class Escort service in Noida and want to enjoy with them, hire sexy girls from top Greater Noida escort service and enjoy full night.

  • Nike Air Max 2019
    Posted at 02:19h, 13 April

    ahdeoskz,Thanks a lot for providing us with this recipe of Cranberry Brisket. I’ve been wanting to make this for a long time but I couldn’t find the right recipe. Thanks to your help here, I can now make this dish easily.

  • Yeezys
    Posted at 15:55h, 13 April

    dulhptiukYeezy Shoes,Definitely believe that which you said. Your favourite justification appeared to be on the net the simplest thing to remember of.

  • male masturbator
    Posted at 02:50h, 20 April

    Say, you got a nice article.Really thank you! Great.

  • Balenciaga UK
    Posted at 06:35h, 20 April

    US President Donald Trump told reporters on the White House lawn on Friday that if the Fed takes interest rate cuts, the US economy will climb like a “rocket ship.” “I think they (the Fed) should lower interest rates and cancel the quantitative austerity policy, so you will see (the US economy like) a rocket ship (like that climb).

Post A Comment