Playing Unlicensed Music Can Be Hazardous to
Your Business’s Health

  • Did you know that playing songs in your establishment without the proper licensing can cost your business tens of thousands of dollars—or more?
  • Your jukebox operator ensures that the music played on the jukebox is properly licensed, but that doesn’t cover other musical entertainment you might provide such as karaoke, DJs, live music, radio, TV or any other type of background music.
  • ASCAP, BMI and SESAC, the three primary Performing Rights Organizations (PROS), collect royalties for songwriters and publishers for the public performance of music in their respective members’ libraries. Each PRO is also responsible for compliance and enforcement on behalf of their members.
  • Damages for playing unlicensed songs range from $750 up to $30,000 PER SONG! If the violation is deemed to be willful, the damages can be increased to as much as $150,000 PER SONG plus attorney’s fees! Earlier this year, ASCAP filed lawsuits against a pair of bars in the Chicago area for $150,000 each. Since 2014, BMI has filed 47 copyright lawsuits against businesses in New York and New Jersey alone, and more than 160 nationwide during the past 12 months.
  • When it comes to prosecuting alleged violators of unlicensed public performances, the PROs have an impressive track record.
  • Don’t risk incurring the large damages associated with playing unlicensed music in your establishment. Make sure you are in compliance with all applicable music licensing requirements. Talk with your operator or click here for a copy of the Music Licensing Frequently Asked Questions document.