EA Performance rights

Subject: EA Performance rights
From: Paul Beaudoin (paul.e.beaudoin@comcast.net)
Date: Tue Nov 01 2005 - 23:26:20 EST

Hi Elainie:
Your student has a good question and the fact that the student is asking is
an excellent sign. Here are some thoughts - first off, check with a person
who specializes in licensing - only they will know what the law permits. As
general rules of thumb here are some guidelines I follow in programming EA:

Purchasing a CD does NOT confer rights to publicly perform such music.

Unless the purchase comes with a specific EULA that grants such use you
cannot not use it (or duplicate it either!)

It is best to contact the composer to seek permission (and I think most of
us will do that without a problem). In certain circumstances, recordings
are protected by the corporation that releases them (especially if they are
released through large corporations). In this case, you would need to
acquire licensing rights from the copyright holder of the piece you want to

Most venues have licensing agreements with ASCAP and BMI (two of the larger
American royalty "protectors") and so the venue's license covers the playing
of the work - and only iof the composer is a member of the associations.

When in doubt, ask the composer first. If your composer is protected under
BMI/ASCAP scenario then the venue may protect you.

It's so complicated but better to be safe than sorry.

Then of course, consult with a professional. :-)

Paul Beaudoin, PhD
351 Ryder Hall - Music Department
Northeastern University
Boston, MA 02115

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