Total posts : 45366
First of all, the Part 15 license from BMI is a request, not a demand. Second, the license with BMI is a fee that is divided amongst the writers and composers. No money goes to the recording artist. The RIAA, on the other had, collect royalties from the sales of recorded music product (usually on plastic or tape) and distributes the money to musical recording artists in their royalty catalogue.
You pay BMI 200-dollars a year to be absolutely legal in playing music from their catalog of composers/writers.
RIAA grants there clearance of recorded music with the purchase of a recorded retail product. The fee is included in the purchase price. So, if you downloaded the music and did not pay for the music the RIAA music police will possibly visit with two notices: 1) for illegal downloading of music without paying for it and 2) public use of the music without paying a royalty. Those notices could end in you defending yourself against the RIAA in a lawsuit for calculated damages. For Part 15 stations that would be tough to calculate and probably not worth the legal fees attorneys would get to prosecute the case.
So bottom line: pay for the cd’s or tapes, or whatever, that are commercially recorded for public performance. And if you want to be entirely legal, fill out the form and send BMI a couple hundred bucks.
BMI and the RIAA are not going to send out the Music Police to shut you down if you don’t. Real world truth. I have been a commercial broadcaster for nearly 40 years. I have had my attorney look into all of these issues for licensed stations and Part 15 stations I have managed and owned. End of story.
Marshall Johnson, Sr.
Senior Pastor, President
Rhema Christian Fellowship, Inc.
Rhema Radio – The Word In Worship
AM 1660 – FM 93.5