Unfair Competition

Music Royalties Collection

Businesses which feature performances of copyrighted music must obtain permission to use the music. Instead of obtaining permission from each artist, businesses purchase blanket licenses from the music licensing companies. The music licensing companies must file annually a list of the copyrighted owners who are represented by the performing rights society and of the musical works licensed by the performing rights society. Under the law:

  • The department is responsible for storing the information filed by the performing rights society.
  • The department is responsible for providing information or making information available to interested proprietors upon request.
  • Certain requirements must be included in a contract between a performing rights society and a proprietor.

Prohibited practices by the performing rights society include:

  • Entering a business to discuss a contact without proper identification.
  • Coercive conduct that disrupts the business premises.
  • Deceptive acts in negotiating a contract or in collecting royalties.
  • Failure to comply with the contract requirements.

Penalties include civil remedy to recover damages, court costs and reasonable attorney fees.