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3 Cards in this Set
Discuss the relationship between radio and the performance right in the Bundle of Rights.”
The Copyright owner’s “Bundle of Rights” includes the right to control public performances of the work (song). Simply put, the copyright
owner has the exclusive right to control public performances and to prevent users from performing the protected work without a performance license.
All users seeking to publicly perform a work (song) that is owned and protected under the copyright act must obtain a license from the copyright
owner. This applies to all users including radio stations, venues, nightclubs, etc. To make the process of issuing license and collecting royalties easier
and more effective, a system of using blanket licenses and performing rights organizations (PRO) was adopted. Each PRO has a requirement built
into the license that requires the radio station to monitor and log the airplay performances.
Distinguish a license from an assignment and discuss the impact on a work (song).
An assignment and a license is a mechanism for transferring a right(s) exclusively held by the copyright owner. An assignment is a transfer
of ownership whereas a license is a transfer of use. For an assignment to be effective, it (1.) must be in writing, (2.) transfer the entire bundle of
rights, (3.) simultaneously, (4.) to a single entity, (5.) without reservation or retention of any right. Please note: Where a copyright owner transfers
all of the rights in the “Bundle of Rights” with a condition precedent or reservation of any right, it is not an assignment but a license. The in-writing
requirement also exists where a transfer looks like an assignment of ownership as in an exclusive license. Each forecloses the right, of the previous
copyright owner in an assignment and a current copyright owner in an exclusive license, of additional transfers.
A license may be exclusive or non-exclusive and may apply to one or more of the rights in the “Bundle of Rights.” That is to say that they
are divisible (divided) and can be licensed individually. However, usually a user must license more than one to fully exploit the work. For example, if
a user seeks a license to copy, unless they also get a license to distribute they will have no vehicle for monetizing the first license.
If a copyright owner transfers a use exclusively, he or she will not be able to transfer that right again until that license expires or a condition has been
satisfied. A non-exclusive license puts no restrictions on the copyright owners right to transfer and he or she may issue a non-exclusive license for the
same right or rights over and over again.
Discuss a “Blanket” license and its relationship to venue owners and performers.
It would be too cumbersome and almost impossible to go to every user and independently license a work for each public performance. To
make the process of issuing licenses and collecting royalties easier and more effective, a system of using blanket licenses and performing rights
organizations was adopted. The three major performing rights organizations (PROs) in the United States are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The
copyright owner assigns the PROs the right to operate on their behalf by going to the user, radio stations, TV stations, concert halls, nightclubs, etc.
to negotiate a license to perform their respective works in public. The license that the PROs negotiate allows the user to use all of the songs in all of
the catalogs of the copyright owners they represent. In other words, all of the songs of all of owners that have affiliated with the performing rights
organizations can be licensed in a one-time blanket license deal. As in a blanket that covers you in bed, a blanket license covers every work in the
respective performing rights organization. The license to use all of the songs that each performing rights organization represents is a “blanket
License.” Please note: A blanket license issued by one PRO only covers the copyrights (songs) it represents. For example: If you have an ASCAP
blanket license, you will be licensed to perform the songs only in ASCAP’s catalogue.
Also note: Technically speaking, when a cover band plays a venue (nightclub) they actually perform the copyrighted material (song) in public.
However, by operation of law the venue is responsible for getting the license and paying the fee. The band does not need to obtain a license nor pay
the fee in this setting.