My family ownes a bar and resturant. Every now and then we'll have a band or DJ for the bar. We are being advised by a company that we need to have a license to do that because it is copywrite infringement because we are making money off the band or DJ. Is that true and why do the bands and DJ's not required to have that license? Located in Missouri.
1 Answer from Attorneys
That is BS you are being given. The possible risk is performance of copyrighted songs if the band is not ASCAP or BMI licensed. Normally the band gets the license, but you could get a license for the establishment to cover unlicensed bands. Contact ASCAP or BMI for this, or contact me or any good copyright or intellectual property lawyer for assistance. For your information the risks on this are relatively low as BMI or ASCAP will generally do retroactive licenses for standard royalty rates if you contact them, give your mea culpas, and ask for a license. An attorney can help you with this and save you money.