Musical Performances on Social Media Could Be Infringing!
COVID-19 has decimated public musical performances, turning homes and garages into the new world stages. Learning to adapt to the ever-changing musical industry is crucial for survival but it can also be detrimental legally and financially. One of the benefits of being a copyright holder of a musical work is the right to publicly perform that right, and to receive royalties from other who perform your work. However, if someone performs your work without permission and without a license from a performing rights organization such as ASCAP and BMI, they can face statutory damages ranging from $750 to $30,000 per work, or up to $150,000 per work for instances of willful infringement, plus attorneys’ fees and courts costs.
These license fees are typically covered by venues, public and private, annually, allowing the artists to play cover songs without concern of copyright infringement. It’s a different tune, however, when these songs are performed without license fees in such such mediums as Zoom, Facebook, Twitch, Instagram or any number of media channels that broadcast the performance of another’s copyrighted works. Therefore, it’s important that you first obtain a license or clearance before streaming your way to a virtual audience!