Kind of a crazy situation. BMI or someone representing them is busy in my neck of the woods(Atlanta). I recently found out that 1 of the venues I host Karaoke and Trivia at does not have a license from them. They are trying to charge the bar something like $25 a person, that the bar holds. Does this sound fishy to anyone? I know that I am supposed to be covered under the bars entertainment license, but who do WE need to talk to about this. I really don't want to be fined, shut down etc... Any help on this one would be greatly appreciated.
Also to BC, do I need a special license to broadcast SC disc and even other manufacturers disc. I know this must be an odd situation, I really need to make sure my butt is covered and I can say my friend, the bar owner, some money.
"I think we’ve covered this previously, but here it is again if you need it. The ASCAP and BMI reps Sound Choice does business with provided the information below. They also said they would try to answer inquiries from their general 800-phone number or web addresses to assist bar/club owners and KJs who want these facts.
The rep from BMI stated very definitely that there is not a license unique to Karaoke. If an establishment is offering music of any type (aside from the jukebox) they would be covered under the standard entertainment licensing agreement these type places are required to have with ASCAP and BMI. The jukebox is covered under a JOL license (assume that is Jukebox Operators License, but don’t know).
ASCAP confirmed pretty much the same info from BMI. There is not a unique, different or special license required by either agency for Karaoke.
Thanks L'op, you answered my tread from before with this post.
The venue I work at does NOT have a general license... they're just too small. No bands could ever fit in there. But they thought karaoke would be a great diversion. Now, they have to pay for the license so that they can have karaoke. And it looks like I'm out a job because of it. I brought in business, yes, but not enough to cover the cost (and make it worthwhile) of the license... or at least the fee they quoted!
Donnie, it goes with the territory, I'm afraid. And like you, it's hurting me as the karaoke owner. Now, legitimately, I can only go "legally" into a bar that already has their General entertainment license thru these guys, or they have to buy one.
Now I am really confused. Does a bar have to have a liscense from both ASCAP and BMI? I visited the website for BMI and I didn't find the answer, Just curious, I am relatively new to this business and just want to cover my behind
Posts: 91 | From: Indianapolis,In USA | Registered: Jul 2001
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Ok, so let memake sure I'm understanding correctly. I need a general license from both or is there a two fold license that covers both. thanks for the quick replies. Also what about harrassment issues from the BMI reps. Can they simply be treated like other bill collectors--just in case there is a lawyer in the forum(haha). Donnie
Posts: 22 | From: Athens, Ga USA | Registered: Aug 2001
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Yes - if songs that are administered by both agencies are used for entertainment purposes in that establishment, the establishment needs licensing from each agency.
This isn't anything new. This has been standard policy and requirements for decades. It's part of the cost of doing business for a bar, restaurant, any store/establishment that uses licensed, copyright songs.
[This message has been edited by BC/Studio Manager (edited January 31, 2002).]
Time to change the "futureofkaraoke.com" page and petition Congress to eliminate these multiple and exorbitant license fees paid to these performing rights societies. Reasoning: karaoke is not the original sound recording nor is it performed by the original artist.
Smaller clubs that can't afford the rates or have the space for a band use karaoke as a medium to provide entertainment that may allow them to compete with the larger clubs.
But seriously folks, B/C is right, clubs need to pay the appropriate fees and there could be 3 to pay: ASCAP, BMI and SEASAC.
While there is no specific category for karaoke in their licenses, KJ's are usually considered in a "prerecorded entertainment category" much the same as a Disc Jockey but definetly NOT the same as a Jukebox.
"WARNING: This material is protected by Federal Copyright Laws. Unauthorized duplication, public performance, or broadcast is a violation of applicable laws. These are professional re-creations and not renditions of the original artist."
Despite the fact that karaoke is DESIGNED for public performance (hence the name, and the original creation of it), and the home market wasn't even a reality until a few years ago...
It's all a BIG scam for MONEY (ask any big time recording artist)
Bypass BMI and ASCAP, and directly to the recording companies, who'll tell you as long as you buy a legitimate recording from the manufacturers, the royalties stop there.
The Super Nine (9) General Licensers distribute virtually all the records available in legitimate record stores world wide. There are a few grandfathered Labels, some with National, a few with neighbor International, but none with world wide licensing and distribution. Only the General Licensers are global!
This lists the nine General Licensers in alphabetical order:
AAVONICA LICENSING, LIMITED, 270 North Canon Drive, Ste 1528, Beverly Hills CA 90210; Tele: 310 281 3016; American owned, 400+ labels: VANDOR and JUKE are the flagship labels. (UPDATE: Aavonica Licensing, Limited has reverted to it's original Vandor Motion Pictures, Phonorecords and Music Publishing Group (VMG) status following their recent expansion reorganization. See VANDOR below.)
BMG (Bertelsmann Music Group), 1540 Broadway, New York NY 10036; Tele: 212 930 4000; German owned, RCA and ARISTA are flagships. Distributes BNA and Career.
CURB (MCG), 3907 West Alameda Avenue, Burbank CA 91505; Tele: 818 843 2872; licenses through other General Licensers as a label.
CAPITOL/EMI, 810 7th Avenue 4th Floor, New York NY 10019; Tele: 212 603 8600; British owned, CAPITOL, LIBERTY, TOWER and UNITED ARTISTS are flagships.
POLYGRAM, 825 8th Avenue, New York NY 10019; Tele: 212 333 800; French owned, MERCURY, POLYDOR and POLYGRAM are flagships. Distributes A&M and Island.
SONY, 550 Madison Avenue, New York NY 10022; Tele: 212 833 8000; Japanese owned. CBS and COLUMBIA are flagships. Also owns Epic.
UNIVERSAL (MCA), 70 Universal City Plaza, Universal City CA 91608; Tele: 818 777 4000; Japanese owned, MCA and DECCA are flagships, licenses MoTown, Geffen and Vocalion.
Vandor Music Group (VMG), handles more independent labels than all the other General Licensers combined, pays the highest mechanical royalties, and offers up to seventy five percent of promotional financial support and all distribution and foreign licensing costs via publishers and record labels. Contracts and licenses through its own Agents - from individual Executive Producers through full group companies. Has an impressive string of Platinum, Gold, and Chart records. Does not stock product until market demand justifies the expense and thus reduces buy-back (product return) to a minimum. The United States and Australia Vice Presidents (YES! They can sign contracts!) are:
Vandor East, Rosalind R. Clark, Vice President Urban & Black, MusicBox 1148, Blair Station, Silver Springs MD 20910 - Tel: 301-565-0097 - Email is email@example.com.
Vandor West, Eddie Greeley, Vice President A&R, 12815 Pacific Avenue, Ste 4, Los Angeles CA 90066 - Tel: 310-313-3756
Not to open an old thread But one of my venues received a BMI package in the mail and called the venue and I was asked if I was suppose to pay for the license I said no the bar is. I am so thankful for reading this board. Posts: 798 | From: Wisconsin | Registered: Mar 2001
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Karaoke is not the original sound recording or original artists? No they are reproductions of the original & still being "performed" - just like cover bands! Karaoke IS live cover performances regardless of whether the source music is instruments, sequencer or cd.
[This message has been edited by Lonman (edited March 12, 2003).]