Music may be played in various areas of an apartment community including reception areas, lobbies and foyers, elevators, pools and fitness facilities or on walking paths. Live music may be played at community events put on by the property owner or by residents.
The copyrights involved in music are complex and must be clearly understood to determine when a license may be required and what type of license is appropriate. The appropriate approach to potential music licensing obligations depends on the particular facts and circumstances of each apartment community’s practices, as well as a company’s individual business objectives and risk management strategy. There are some straightforward rules and factors for firms to consider as they assess their potential liability and develop solutions for compliance. However, some issues have not been fully addressed by courts.
This white paper by Cydney A. Tune, Senior Counsel at Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP and the firm’s copyrights practice section leader, provides basic information about key copyright and music licensing principles and a framework to help apartment companies consider how those principles may apply to a particular community. More specifically, the paper addresses issues related to public and semi-public spaces, performance licenses, sources of music and equipment and devices for audio-only and audiovisual use. In addition, the paper includes a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) section that answers some common questions from apartment firms.
While the paper does not provide legal advice, apartment firms can use the paper’s general information to educate themselves on some of the complex issues surrounding the use of music on their properties.
Full DocumentMusic Licensing Basics for Apartment Communities
- DOJ Retains Music Licensing Consent Decrees After 1.5 Year Long Review
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- NMHC and NAA Letter to Department of Justice Regarding Music Licensing Consent Decree
- Multifamily Industry and Congress Urge DOJ Not to Upend Music Licensing Market
- NMHC/NAA Consent Decree Letter to U.S. Department of Justice