Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Who Pays for Performance of Cover Songs?

Dear Rich: I’d like to start a top-40 band that will play mostly cover songs to make money while we work on our own material. I know that when music is performed, the owners and publishers of the songs played are entitled to be compensated for each performance of their song. When our band starts performing at colleges, weddings, and social clubs, who is responsible for obtaining performance rights and paying the royalties on the cover songs we plan to play? The venue, not the band, is responsible for paying for the public performance rights. Most venues have what are known as "blanket licenses" that permit performances of a wide range of licensed music for a fixed annual fee.