Rockbot believes in the protection of copyright. Artists and songwriters deserve compensation for their creations that we enjoy at our favorite venues through the Rockbot service. Rockbot has assembled this general guide to music licensing as applied to our service. It is our hope that the general information about our licensing procedures will answer some of the most frequently asked licensing-related questions about our service. Music is a specialized area of entertainment law, and we recommend that you direct any specific questions to a knowledgeable attorney or music rights consultant. In general, each song that is played through our system requires a statutory license from SoundExchange, as well as the right to publicly perform these compositions from the applicable Performing Rights Organization (PROs).
SoundExchange is a non-profit organization that collects statutory royalties from satellite radio (such as SIRIUS XM), Internet radio (like Pandora), cable TV music channels and similar services that stream sound recordings, like Rockbot. The Copyright Royalty Board, which is appointed by The U.S. Library of Congress, has entrusted SoundExchange as the sole entity in the United States to collect and distribute these digital performance royalties on behalf of featured and non-featured recording artists, master rights owners (usually record labels), and independent artists who record and own their masters. For more information see http://soundexchange.com/about/
In the United States of America nearly all public performances of music are licensed through ASCAP, BMI or SESAC, the three "PROs." The PROs are set up to act as agents for their publisher and songwriter members. Rockbot has agreements with all three of the US societies that generally authorize the performance of the organization's catalog consistent with the terms of each license agreement.
ASCAP is a membership association of more than 400,000 U.S. composers, songwriters, lyricists, and music publishers of every kind of music. ASCAP is the only U.S. performing rights organization created and controlled by composers, songwriters and music publishers, with a Board of Directors elected by and from the membership. http://ascap.com/about/
Founded in 1939, BMI collects license fees on behalf of the more than 475,000 songwriters, composers and music publishers it represents and distributes those fees as royalties to members whose works have been publicly performed. http://bmi.com/about/entry/538061
SESAC was founded in 1930. It is now a privately held company and the smallest of the three performing rights societies. http://sesac.com/About/About.aspx
Our licenses alone do not give a local establishment the right to engage a DJ to play music, to hire a live band to perform, to use the Rockbot service for karaoke or for any other use. Our licenses similarly do not cover an establishment that charges a cover or admission fee. Our licenses do not cover any other music sources such as radio, television, CD or MP3 players. Performing music at the location in this manner or charging admission is generally not authorized by the licenses Rockbot has obtained from the PROs, and may subject the local establishment to liability for copyright infringement, unless additional direct licenses are obtained. For further information please feel free to contact our licensing department at firstname.lastname@example.org. They will likely direct you to a knowledgeable attorney or music rights consultant.