ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

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ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby jonnyrockcom » Thu Nov 24, 2005 12:02 pm

Anyone belong to ASCAP or BMI? I know it's the owner of the nightclub or hall that is require to pay the license. Anyone know the cost?

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Postby djmc » Thu Nov 24, 2005 1:23 pm

Jonny,

Are you a "Promoter" or "Owner".......unless you are actually the person responsible for the venue there is NO need to pay performance rights org.

The exception would be when you are "renting" the club or venue, and promoting the event yourself. Then YOU become the promotor for that public event, and would be responsible for ASCAP and BMI.

Now excuse me while I go put my turkey in the oven!
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Re: ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby jonnyrockcom » Thu Nov 24, 2005 5:18 pm

I understand who is require to have ASCAP and BMI. Out of the three nightclubs we currently play only one has has ASCAP & BMI License posted at the front door. To be honest, I believe this is the only night club that I have play in the last ten years that had their license.

I was wondering if any one else had a license who is a mobile DJ. We do a few Youth events and fundraising outside and I'm pretty sure no one has even thought about this issue.

Or if you had a license in a nightclub that didn't, would you be cover?

Turkey was great!

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Postby Dave Miller » Fri Nov 25, 2005 12:50 am

Generally, the DJ is not responsible for the ASCAP or BMI fees, except, as DJMC said, if you are propmoter for an event / rave / whatever. If you're simply the hired DJ, then the club management / owner is responsible.

As a general rule, if ASCAP or BMI catches them, they will want thier money, but not go after back payment, unless the management is a real * about it.

In all cases, they don't hastle the DJ about it.
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Postby DJ Iron Mike » Sat Jan 20, 2007 8:17 pm

As a Christian DJ, a lot of the artist and musicians I feature also list with SESAC, which enables the same thing essentially but takes care of the European side of it. We also deal with an agency called CCLI which basically makes it so a church can sing the songs that they sing . This is done in addition to the ASCAP, BMI. It's all essentially the same thing though. As a mobile DJ, these people at the venues need to have paid this fee. The DJ does not pay this fee unless he is the one putting the show on, involved in the planning promotion and orchestration of it.
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Re: ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby SteveCie » Wed Aug 01, 2007 10:51 am

One of the pitfalls is ad hoc organizations running events without benefit of license or permit.

I once was approached by a group of concerned people who rented a local Hall to hold a dance/fundraiser for a neighbor who had experienced a fire in their home.

While everyone had the right intentions, there was no non-profit organization sponsoring the event, no raffle licenses (required in NJ), and most importantly, no ASCAP or BMI license for music. Since they were charging an admission charge, this was a requirement.

Had I agreed to do the gig, I was totally exposed, even though I was going to do the gig for free. I could have been held acountable.

When booking an event where admission is being charged, beware!
Make sure the venue has the appropriate license. After all, it is you who is playing the copyrighted music on your equipment. You are indeed exposed to civil liability.
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Re: ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby Dave Miller » Thu Aug 02, 2007 11:14 pm

SteveCie wrote:Had I agreed to do the gig, I was totally exposed, even though I was going to do the gig for free. I could have been held acountable.
Your accountability would be reduced if you did not do it for free. I charge $1 for my 'free' events. And I do a contract. And I insist that they pay the $1 by check.

That way I can easily prove that I was a hired vendor and not part of the organization.
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Postby gonzo78 » Fri Aug 03, 2007 8:04 am

Does anybody know what CCLI covers? I think it covers the songs we perform as a band, but is that it? If I DJ at a church sponsered event what do I need to do to be in compliance?
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Re: ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby SteveCie » Fri Aug 03, 2007 4:45 pm

DJ Teddy Bear wrote:
SteveCie wrote:Had I agreed to do the gig, I was totally exposed, even though I was going to do the gig for free. I could have been held acountable.
Your accountability would be reduced if you did not do it for free. I charge $1 for my 'free' events. And I do a contract. And I insist that they pay the $1 by check.

That way I can easily prove that I was a hired vendor and not part of the organization.


Excellent! I learned something new.
Thanks Bear!

My freebies will now cost the client a buck and they will have to sign a contract.
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Postby CJ Greiner » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:17 pm

You guys are all right: The venue or promoter is responsible for ASCAP/BMI -- not the entertainers.

If you get the contract that says you're the entertainer, you've got it covered. If you really want to make sure, you can even include a brief statement in the contract that clarifies the responsibilities of the client/promoter/venue vs. your responsibilities as the entertainer.

There are other good reasons for getting a contract.

Here's one that is not:
There are those that will argue that they'll get a contract for "$1000" with a charitable organization, and then immediately turn around and donate the $1000 right back to the organization. This really gains nothing, except for establishing some imaginary value for your services to the organization's leadership. In reality, you would then have to report $1000 of income, and then the $1000 charitable deduction -- it's a wash. People argue that they can then write off the expenses for the event... but so what. You can always write off legitimate business expenses, no matter how much you get paid for any event or what $$$$ amount you sign for. You CAN NOT write off the "value" of donated services.

Here's a good reason for always getting a contract:
INSURANCE. Many of us use insurance policies for Mobile DJs from the ADJA, NAME or other organizations. If you read the fine print, it does let you know that you need to be traveling to/from a contracted event. No contract... then you must be on a personal trip! If any of you have ever tried to get personal coverage for cars/trailers, then you know that the insurance covers the car or trailer, but not the contents. THEN you need to cover the contents with homeowners/renters insurance. If the homeowners/renters insurance company determines that you're a DJ and you were using the equipment for business purposes... then it won't be covered at all.

Just get a contract for every event. Even if it's for $1. It's worth it!
Last edited by CJ Greiner on Wed Apr 02, 2008 10:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: ASCAP for Mobile DJ & Karaoke Host?

Postby SteveCie » Tue Apr 01, 2008 11:49 pm

Thanks CJ
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