Enrollment Opens for ARVC's 'Music Licensing'
Editor's Note: The following information was provided by the National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) as a service to its members as well as nonmembers.
Did you know that your park is legally liable to pay royalties on any music that you play? That includes digital music services, Muzak, satellite radio and TV, cable, on hold music, DJs, live performers, karaoke and even your personal CDs, if you play them in public.
ARVC has negotiated a one-of-a-kind combined music licensing agreement available exclusively to ARVC members. This single annual license combines the benefit of coverage for both ASCAP and BMI at a drastically reduced rate.
ASCAP and BMI represent the vast majority of artists, with over a million songwriters, publishers and performers who produce every type of music. By taking advantage of this combined license, park owners can now play virtually all the music you want from any artist they represent, all year long, worry free. Monthly SESAC licenses are also available at a discounted rate, in addition to the combined license, for added coverage.
Here are a few common questions park owners may have:
Why does a “Park” have to pay an annual music-licensing fee?
The fee is to pay for a license that permits the park to have music performed on its premises, whether it is performed live, through recorded music over CDs, DVDs and cassettes or by music on-hold. Under copyright law, anybody who makes music available to the public needs permission prior to performing that music. Without a license, a park that allows music to be performed at its facilities commits a violation of federal copyright law.
What is a public performance?
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.
Why do I need a license from three different companies?
Each of these organizations, or PROs, represents different songwriters, composers, publishers and copyright holders, so to be fully protected, you need to be licensed by all three.
What is covered by a license?
The license covers copyrighted music played, or performed, for the public. That includes digital music services, Muzak, satellite radio and TV, cable, on hold music, DJs, live performers, karaoke and even your personal CDs. A license gives you legal authorization to play copyrighted music for the public and protects you from the financial penalties of copyright infringement.
Does the ARVC Music License specifically exclude any types of performances?
Yes. Additional licensing fees may apply for events for which a hard ticket from an outside source is required for admission, any event which requires a separate admission fee of $25 or higher or if your park incurs annual live entertainment expenses in excess of $5,000.
Aren't TV, cable and radio stations already licensed?
Yes, they are. However, those agreements do not authorize the broadcast of these TV, cable and radio stations to the public by businesses and other organizations.
What if we already own our own collection of music CDs?
The purchase price that you paid for the CDs covers only your use of them for private listening. Once you decide to play any copyrighted music publicly, you need permission from the copyright owners.
If we have live performances at our park, are the musicians responsible for being licensed?
No, some people mistakenly assume musicians, entertainers or even DJs must obtain licenses to perform. Since it's your business that's benefiting from the performance of music, park management is responsible for ensuring that the organization is properly licensed. This responsibility cannot be passed on to anyone else, even if the musicians hired are independent contractors.
How do I sign up for the ARVC Music Licensing Program?
The ARVC music-licensing program is only available to ARVC members. If you are not an ARVC member, go to arvc.org/join or call the office at (303) 681-0401. If you are an ARVC member, go to arvc.org/music-licensing and sign in with your ARVC ID and password. The open enrollment period for 2014 music licensing is from July 1, 2013, to Nov. 30, 2013. No late enrollments will be accepted.