[Libs-Or] Royalty Payments for Library Programs

Leah Griffith leah.griffith at ci.newberg.or.us
Tue Jul 28 10:19:13 PDT 2009

So we pay licensing for showing movies because they are "dramatic" literary works (Section 4)?   I'm just curious as it seems that copyright and licensing might be two different things.   I would be curious what ALA's legal counsel says about movie licensing since we don't charge admission for that either.

Leah M. Griffith
Director,   Newberg Public Library
P Think Green - Only print message if needed and then recycle!

From: libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us [mailto:libs-or-bounces at listsmart.osl.state.or.us] On Behalf Of Jim Scheppke
Sent: Monday, July 27, 2009 9:44 PM
To: libs-or List
Subject: [Libs-Or] Royalty Payments for Library Programs

Dear Colleagues: You may recall that the Director of the Springfield Public Library sent out a question to libs-or about threats his City Attorney received from BMI about performing songs at library programs without a performance fee. I forwarded this to the ALA Washington Office and received this reply from Carrie Russell. You all need to get legal advice from your own attorneys, but it is helpful to hear the ALA legal counsel's opinion that libraries are exempt from any royalty payments. Here is the information from ALA ... --> Jim

------ Forwarded Message
From: Carrie Russell <crussell at alawash.org>
Date: Mon, 27 Jul 2009 11:15:03 -0400
To: Emily Sheketoff <esheketoff at alawash.org>, <jim.b.scheppke at state.or.us>
Conversation: [Libs-Or] Library programs and music licensing
Subject: RE: [Libs-Or] Library programs and music licensing

Hello Emily and Jim:

I discussed this issue with our legal counsel, and we believe that the public library is exempt from royalty payments under US Code Title, 17 (the copyright law), Section 110 (4).

4) performance of a nondramatic literary or musical work otherwise than in a transmission to the public, without any purpose of direct or indirect commercial advantage and without payment of any fee or other compensation for the performance to any of its performers, promoters, or organizers, if-
(A) there is no direct or indirect admission charge; or
(B) the proceeds, after deducting the reasonable costs of producing the performance, are used exclusively for educational, religious, or charitable purposes and not for private financial gain, except where the copyright owner has served notice of objection to the performance under the following conditions:
(i) the notice shall be in writing and signed by the copyright owner or such owner's duly authorized agent; and
(ii) the notice shall be served on the person responsible for the performance at least seven days before the date of the performance, and shall state the reasons for the objection; and
(iii) the notice shall comply, in form, content, and manner of service, with requirements that the Register of Copyrights shall prescribe by regulation; ...

For the public library, subsection A applies.

One suggestion I have is that you no longer advertise the music that you plan on playing at library programs on your web site.

Our legal counsel said that this attempt to collect royalties is really unbelievable, and that if "ASCAP/BMI come knocking, they should be told to jump in the lake!"

If I can provide more information, please let me know.

Carrie Russell, OITP

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