Announcing Support for ASCAP Digital Jukebox Public Performance License
Background Information on "Public Performances"
When one buys music, be it in the form of digital music from online music stores such as
Apple iTunes or
Amazon MP3 Downloads,
or traditional physical media such as digital audio CDs, cassette tapes, 8-track tapes or vinyl records, they are
only given the permission from the copyright owner (typically, it is the music publisher) to play that
music in a "private" setting. They do not have the expressed permission to play that music "publicly", which is
U.S. copyright law as:
To perform or display a work "publicly" means
In order for one to be able to play music "publicly" that is stored in a
jukebox, be it:
- to perform or display it at a place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of persons outside of a normal circle of a family and its social acquaintances is gathered; or
- to transmit or otherwise communicate a performance or display of the work to a place specified by clause (1) or to the public, by means of any device or process, whether the members of the public capable of receiving the performance or display receive it in the same place or in separate places and at the same time or at different times.
they need to have what is known as a "public performance license".
In other words, he U.S. Copyright Act grants the copyright owner of a musical work the exclusive right to license
the public performance of their work. This means that no one may publicly perform copyrighted music
without the express prior permission of the copyright owner or their agents.
- a digital downloading jukebox, such as by TouchTunes, that is primarily comprised of a general purpose
computer that is controlled by, and communicates with a, central server)
- a traditional jukebox that plays physical digital audio CDs or "Vinyl 45" records
- a digital jukebox that is non-downloading, such as one using JukeANator digital jukebox software,
that plays locally stored music that is purchased by the jukebox owner and runs independently of a central server.