When you play music in your business or any public venue, you need to think about two different fees:
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- The first fee covers the rights to mechanically receive and play music in a commercial venue. When you subscribe to Control Play, part of your subscription fee covers access to the Managed Media Content Delivery Network. Managed Media has agreements with the major record labels and covers the mechanical rights for you to stream or receive encrypted copies of musical works for local playback in your venue.
- The second fee covers the public performing rights (required if you play music from any source including radio, a CD player, or from a subscription service).
In Canada, most public music performances are licensed through two music rights management companies: Re:Sound and SOCAN. These PRO’s are set up to act as agents for their publisher and songwriter members.
When you subscribe to Control Play, the public performance rights can be managed by Control Play depending on the application of the music, as set out by the Performance Rights Organizations.
Without a doubt, you will have conversations with services that say ”we cover it”, only to find out that they do not based on how you utilize music in your business. Our goal is help you make educated decisions and ensure that you understand how to legally play music in your business.
What You Need to Know About Your Background Music License
Control Play has access to licensing agreements with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, GMR, RESOUND, and SOCAN which authorize the performance of their catalog in certain ways. This authorization for performing rights is provided on an opt-in basis only, and is not included with your Control Play Subscription unless you ask for it and pay an additional fee for coverage. When performing rights licensing is purchased as an add-on to your Control Play subscription, only music provided by Managed Media (which is licensed by the specific performing rights organizations) is licensed for performance in your venue.
What Doesn’t My PRO Music License Cover?
Unfortunately, the performing rights licenses provided through Control Play do not give you the right to have a Disc Jockey play music, to hire or allow a live band to perform, to provide a Karaoke service, or to use other music sources such as Radio, Television, CDs, Karaoke or MP3 players.
They also do not cover you if you charge a direct or indirect admission fee (e.g. cover, minimum, or similar charge) to the premises nor if you’re a specific type of venue like a Roller Skating Rink, Bowling Center, Family Entertainment Facility, Theme Park or Fitness Center where bowling, dancing, skating, cycling, aerobics, fitness or other similar activities (where music plays an integral part) takes place.
Additionally, the license is void if you use Control Play for interactive functionality. You are also prohibited from transmitting or rebroadcasting the Control Play service outside of your venue. Performing music, which falls under any of these exclusions, is not authorized by Control Play’s available performing rights licenses, and will require you to obtain your own direct agreements for these uses.