JukeANator Digital Jukebox Software

Announcing Support for ASCAP Digital Jukebox Public Performance License

Jukebox License Office (JLO) and Public Performance Licenses for Jukeboxes

Prior to changes made in the 2007 JLO license agreement for jukeboxes, non-downloading digital jukeboxes, such as ones built using JukeANator digital jukebox software fit the terms of the licensing by meeting the definition of the word "jukebox". When I first did research on this subject, I used the JLO agreement as it was in 2002, the wording on section (a) of the "Limitations on License" read (emphasis mine):

This license only covers "coin-operated phonorecord players", as defined in this Jukebox License Agreement and this license does not cover, for example video jukeboxes or digital jukeboxes. If a device that employs a hard drive for the storage of phonorecords or recorded musical compositions (for which all other appropriate licenses have been obtained); and if transmissions, downloads and streaming of musical works are not made to, from or by the box; and if in all other respects, the device is the same as a compact disc or vinyl jukebox; and if the device complies with all of the criteria under the definition of "jukebox" in the Jukebox License Agreement, upon notice from the AMOA or the operator to the JLO, on behalf of the PRO's, the device will be covered under the terms of the Jukebox License Agreement on an expermimental year-to-year basis.

The original wording of JLO's agreement that acknowledged the existence of jukeboxes built using general purpose computers did not define the word "digital jukebox". I argued via correspondence to the Jukebox License Office that a "compact disc" jukebox could be considered "digital" because the music is digitally encoded on the audio CD (see "Red Book CD Standard"), that this phrase was equivalent to "downloading digital jukebox, given the rest of the wording... The key thing to me was that JukeANator was/is not a downloading digital jukebox; and since it did/does employ a hard drive for the storage of phonorecords, then I was under the impression that JLO agreements could be used for public performance licensing of JukeANator Jukeboxes, given the final part of that section, the device will be covered under the terms of the Jukebox License Agreement on an expermimental year-to-year basis statement"...

However, with the 2007 and current JLO agreement, the wording of section (a) on the "Limitations on License" was changed to read (emphasis mine):

This license covers only "coin-operated phonorecord players," as defined in this Jukebox License Agreement and this license does not cover video jukeboxes or digital jukeboxes, including but not limited to any device which: (i) receives and/or sends transmissions (i.e. downloads or streams) of musical works; and/or (ii) employs a hard drive for the storage of digital phonorecords or other recorded musical compositions.

With this change, they removed the ability to use a JLO agreement for non-downloading digital jukeboxes, as well as the original excluson on downloading digital jukeboxes... The result is that, anyone using a general purpose computer, which "employs a hard" drive, in conjunction with digital jukebox software to build/operate a non-downloading digital jukebox for commercial use for "public" performances cannot use a JLO license to cover the public performance licensing (it is implied, that anyone also making illegal copies/reproductions of music onto multiple hard drives, is also in violation of general copyright law, as one is required to have the mechanical rights for copyrighted music in order to reproduce/distribute it, as described in an article on the investigation by the FBI and RIAA in the Vending Times industry journal). In addition, the JLO has encouraged jukebox operators to report these non-licensed jukeboxes (a.k.a. "rogue jukeboxes") via a hotline and this form.

NOTE TO JLO: You need to propagate this change to the ASCAP website's brochures, as according to the following brochure on jukebox licensing , non-downloading digital jukeboxes (such as ones using JukeANator), still qualify because they meet the definitions of the term "jukebox" and operate within the limitations of the license...