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Is your chapter show still copyright compliant?

Chapter shows during Covid-19: remaining in copyright compliance

In an effort to prevent spreading the COVID-19 virus, many of our chapters have canceled, rescheduled, or modified their show events. As ASCAP and BMI/SESAC reports are often submitted and paid well in advance of a show date, below are some suggested steps to ensure a chapter's public performance records remain in copyright compliance:

If a chapter reschedules a previously approved/paid show to a future date, they should submit a copy of the original BMI/SESAC report to their District Secretary (or assignee) with the revised date(s) and include a letter with it to explain the change. Upon the DS’ approval, they (or their assignee) should forward a copy of the updated BMI/SESAC report form and letter to Harmony Hall. In turn BHS will update the performing rights organizations and our local records regarding the updated information. The chapter does not have to submit a new fee payment, unless the details of the new show(s) require(s) additional fees to be paid (a higher ticket price/venue, show added, etc.).

If a chapter cancels a show (or shows) and they do not reschedule them, they should notify their District Secretary (or assignee) who in turn should notify Harmony Hall via email to library@barbershop.org . The Society's local BMI/SESAC records will be updated and the performing rights organization will be notified of the cancellation(s). Unfortunately, refunds cannot be issued for any ASCAP or BMI/SESAC payments already submitted to Harmony Hall due to the copyright agreement terms with these organizations. Chapters may want to consider rescheduling their show(s) to apply the show payments already made and processed.

Chapters located in Canada should contact SOCAN directly for guidance regarding their cancelled or rescheduled shows.

Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your show reports or other copyright-related matter, please contact library@barbershop.org .

About the Author

Janice Bane is Copyright & Licensing Manager for the Barbershop Harmony Society, where she oversees all perfection of rights, music clearances, and royalty operations for the organization’s media publishing division.

Her background includes 30 years of experience in music publishing and copyright administration, and she currently serves on the board of directors for The Copyright Society of the South.