I am thinking about opening a nightclub. Would I have to pay any royalties or pay artices to play artists music?

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Question:

Question: I am considering investing in a nightclub with a partner and was wondering if there are any music royalty laws or music distribution agreement we must consider to play the music?

Response: If you are starting a nightclub and are considering playing copyrighted music, it is generally required that you obtain a license to do so.  The American Society of Composers, Artists, and Publishers (A.S.C.A.P.) is one of the largest licensing agencies who is responsible for collecting license fees on behalf of songwriters, composers and music publishers. After you obtain your license and pay the requisite fees, the A.S.C.A.P. distributes the fees as royalties to those members whose works have been performed. Another popular agency is called Broadcast Music Inc, who also charges you an annual licensing fee to enable you to play recorded or live music in your night club. The price they charge is based on your seating capacity and the square footage of the venue. If you don't obtain licensing or work out any royalty agreements, you may be liable for copyright infringement.  Moving forward, it would be best to consult with an Entertainment Lawyer to determine the best course of action for your case.

Answered by Jason Tong 

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