When was the last time you purchased a CD or MP3 download of your favorite artist’s songs and listened to the tunes at home, in your vehicle, or on your headphones while out for a jog? Like me, I presume it’s quite often.

Right of Publicity?

However, did you know that you cannot play the songs you purchased publicly?  So when you’re at an outside party or gathering such as restaurant, event hall or at your local park, the music that is being played for the group to hear is subject to copyright laws. Where you aware of this? Apparently many people are not, including our presidential candidates.
English singer and songwriter Adele is reminding presidential candidates to stop using her music during any campaign events.
Adele recently discovered via Twitter that Trump played her song at an Iowa event when a tweet was sent to her saying: “Hey @adele #trump is still using Rolling in the Deep at a rally in Iowa…”
Prior to that, former Gov. Mike Huckabee also tweeted out the video of Adele’s ‘Hello’.
Adele’s representative, Benny Tarantini, sent this statement to the press: “Adele has not given permission for her music to be used for any political campaigning.”
In an exclusive article, The Independent wrote: “The Republican frontrunner has consistently played Adele’s smash hit ‘Rolling In The Deep.’ with its ‘we could have had it all’ refrain, to stoke up the atmosphere at campaign events before his appearance.”

IP Infringement.

So if you’re at a place that’s open to the public and would like to play a song, how do you ensure that you’re not infringing on someone else’s Intellectual Property?
Make sure you have the written approval of the copyright holder or that you have the appropriate music licenses.  A few of the major clearinghouses are ASCAP, SESAC, and BMI.  These music performing rights organizations have various license options from single event to annual blanket licenses. Here are some helpful links from each of these organizations which discusses the licenses and fees:

As always, it is critical that you know and fully understand the laws as well as your rights.
Until next time, I’m Attorney Francine Ward helping you protect what’s yours. Join my conversation on FacebookTwitter, or in one of my LinkedIn groupsGoogle+ Circles.

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