Remember That Performance License

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May 13, 2008 by   - () Leave a Comment

With the camping season getting underway across the U.S., campground owners should remember they need licenses to play music and show videos at their facilities.
The Northeast Campground Association (NCA) has been very proactive through the years to alert its members to these requirements. Following are excerpts from articles on these topics that appeared in the May issue of NCA’s InSites newsletter:
Music Licensure
The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) is a member association of more than 315,000. Its primary purpose is to assure that music creators are fairly compensated for the public performance of their works, and that their rights are properly educated.
Some commonly asked questions:
Why should I pay for playing music in public?
We often use the expression ‘they’re playing my song,’ not always remembering it still legally belongs to the songwriter who created it and the music publisher who markets it. When you use other people’s property, you need to ask permission.
What does the ASCAP license do?
ASCAP gives you a license to entertain your customers with the world’s largest musical repertory. One of the greatest advantages of your license is that it gives you the right to perform any or all of the millions of musical works in the ASCAP’s repertory.
What if I choose not to have a license and I have music played at my campground?
If you choose to use another’s property without permission, a court can assess damages generally ranging from a minimum of $750 up to $30,000 for each song “infringed,” require you to pay attorney’s fees and court costs and enter an injunction against you. ASCAP to date has never lost in court.
The contact at the ASCAP is Tiffany Brown, 2690 Cumberland Parkway, Suite 490 Atlanta, GA 30339; (800) 505-4052 Ext. 3431;;
Motion Picture Licensure
If you wish to have video programs at your campground, a video license is required. This license can be obtained from the Motion Picture Licensing Corp. (MPLC).
To date the MPLC has licensed more than 250,000 locations in the U.S. and more than 450,000 locations worldwide, from the smallest camps and libraries to the largest multi-national corporations and federal government agencies.
The MPLC provides a license which allows its members to show videos for public performance. Before you schedule “Sunday Matinees” or “Movies Under the Stars,” make sure you know the law.
The contact at the MPLC is Salvatore A. Laudicina, 5455 Centinela Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90066; (800) 462-8855;;
There is an additional license that you are required to have if you play music that is not part of the ASCAP repertory. Check with the Broadcast Music Inc.,, to determine if you play music on its lists.

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