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Who pays ASCAP?

Can anyone tell me who is responsible to pay ASCAP after each concert?  Is it the choir or the venue?  or both?  I'm hearing conflicting reports.
Thank you for your help.
Replies (6): Threaded | Chronological
on November 7, 2014 8:31am
It depends who's "producing" the concert, i.e. who's handling publicity, budgeting, ticket revenue, etc. If a choir rents a hall in order to give a concert, the choir is responsible for performance licensing. If a nightclub or a church with a concert series hires a choir to sing as part of their regular production season, the venue is responsible. The legal question is who will "benefit," financially or otherwise, from the performance. If it's both venue and performer, they are both jointly responsible, and it's wise to negotiate such things in advance.
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on November 7, 2014 8:36am
I believe it's the producer who pays. Most venues that produce concerts pay a fee that covers all their perofrmances for the year. If a performing group is self-producing, it is resoponsible for paying ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.
on February 26, 2015 2:44pm
Anna, do you know if the choir must pay ASCAP if there is no ticket fee? And the company is non-profit?   Thanks!
on February 27, 2015 6:54am
It doesn't matter if the company is an NFP. You are still expected to have a license & pay the fees. Also, BMI will catch up with you if you have not licensed with them & you are doing music by their composers. We've negotiated a flat, once a year with BMI. Based on our experience, I think they get that info from ASCAP.
When you say "no ticket fee" do you mean no admission charge or by donation? If you are "passing the plate" you still have to report. Not sure if there is no admission. Best to call or check the ASCAP website.
on February 27, 2015 8:25am
Free concerts are still subject to performance licensing requirements, UNLESS none of the participants is paid (including conductors and accompanists) OR it's part of a religious service. However, ASCAP's fees are based on a complicated formula which takes admission charges into account, so free concerts will have much smaller fees. Section 110(3)(A) says "no direct or indirect admission charge", so that probably means that dodges like "suggested donation" won't really fly. 
There is no discount for nonprofits.
on February 28, 2015 6:54am
The webpage figures the calculation for you after you submit your revenue & # of seats at the venue.
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