2017 Florida Statutes
Copyright owners and performing rights societies.
Copyright owners and performing rights societies.
501.93 Copyright owners and performing rights societies.—
(1) DEFINITIONS.—As used in this section, the term:
(a) “Business” means a retail establishment, restaurant, bar, lounge, sports or entertainment facility, or any other similar place of business or any professional office located in this state in which the public assembles and in which nondramatic musical works are performed, broadcast, or otherwise transmitted for the enjoyment of the members of the public there assembled.
(b) “Copyright owner” means the owner of a copyright of a nondramatic musical work, other than a motion picture or other audiovisual work, recognized and enforceable under the copyright laws of the United States pursuant to Title 17 of the United States Code, Pub. L. No. 94-653, 17 U.S.C. ss. 101 et seq.
(c) “Performing rights society” means any business entity or association that licenses the public performance of nondramatic musical works on behalf of copyright owners, including the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc., and SESAC, Inc.
(d) “Proprietor” means the owner, operator, or manager of a business.
(e) “Royalty” means the fee payable by a proprietor to a performing rights society for the public performance of a nondramatic musical work.
(2) PROHIBITED ACTIVITIES.—
(a) A performing rights society may not enter into, or offer to enter into, a contract for the payment of royalties by a proprietor unless at the time of the offer, or any time thereafter, but no later than 72 hours before the execution of that contract, it provides to the proprietor, in writing, all of the following:
1. A schedule of the rates and terms of royalties under the contract and the basis upon which those rates were calculated.
2. Notice that the performing rights society will make available, upon written request of any proprietor, the most current available listing of the copyrighted works in the society’s repertory, provided that such notice must specify the means by which the society provides this information. A society may charge a proprietor requesting such a list no more than the costs incurred in responding to the request.
3. Notice that the performing rights society has established a toll-free telephone number and a means of computer access that can be used to answer inquiries of a proprietor regarding the specific musical works and copyright owners represented by the society.
4. Notice that a copy of each form of contract or agreement offered by a performing rights society to a proprietor in this state will be made available upon request of any proprietor.
5. Notice that the agreement complies with federal law and orders of courts having appropriate jurisdiction regarding the rates and terms of royalties and the circumstances under which licenses for rights of public performance are offered to any proprietor.
6. Notice that the proprietor is entitled to the information contained in this paragraph, and that the failure of the performing rights society to provide that information is unlawful.
7. Notice that the proprietor should consider obtaining a separate license or other form of authorization from those performing rights societies or copyright owners whose copyrighted musical works are not licensed pursuant to such contract.
(b) A performing rights society, or any agent or employee of a society, may not:
1. Enter onto the premises of a proprietor’s business for the purpose of discussing or inquiring about a contract for the payment of royalties with the proprietor or the proprietor’s employees, without first identifying himself or herself to the proprietor or the proprietor’s employees and making known to them the purpose of the discussion or inquiry;
2. Collect or attempt to collect a royalty payment or any other fee except as provided in a contract executed in accordance with this section; or
3. Use or attempt to use any unfair trade practice in negotiating with a proprietor, or in retaliation for a proprietor’s failure or refusal to negotiate, with respect to a contract for the payment of royalties.
(3) CONTRACT REQUIREMENTS.—Each contract for the payment of royalties between a proprietor and a performing rights society that is executed, issued, or renewed in this state after October 1, 1996, must:
(a) Be in writing;
(b) Be signed by the parties; and
(c) Include at least the following information:
1. The proprietor’s name and business address and the name and location of each business to which the contract applies.
2. The name and address of the performing rights society authorized to act on behalf of copyright owners being paid royalties under the contract.
3. The duration of the contract.
4. The schedule of rates and terms of the royalties to be collected under the contract, including any sliding scale or schedule for any increase or decrease of those rates for the duration of that contract, and the basis upon which those rates were calculated.
(4) VERIFICATION SERVICE.—In addition to providing the information required under subparagraph (2)(a)2., the performing rights society must make available a toll-free telephone number and a means of computer access that can be used to answer inquiries of a proprietor regarding the specific musical works and copyright owners represented by the society.
(5) CIVIL REMEDIES.—Any person who suffers a violation of this section may bring an action seeking injunctive relief, actual damages, reasonable attorney’s fees and costs, and any other remedy available at law or in equity.
(6) APPLICATION.—This section applies only to performing rights societies. This section does not apply to a contract between a performing rights society and a broadcaster that is licensed by the Federal Communications Commission. This section does not apply to conduct engaged in for purposes of enforcing s. 540.11(3)(a). Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit a performing rights society or copyright owner from conducting investigations to determine the existence of music use by a proprietor or from informing the proprietor of the proprietor’s obligations under the federal copyright laws, Title 17 of the United States Code.
History.—s. 1, ch. 96-249; s. 1164, ch. 97-103.