When providing live entertainment at your bar or restaurant, you will need to be licensed. What type of license you will need will depend on the type of entertainment at your venue. Your entertainment is not required to provide the licenses. You will need to purchase the following three licenses. The needed licenses are ASCAP, BMI as well as SESAC. Please check this link for more details. This will cover venues for 99% of requirements. Some examples of covered entertainment would be jukebox or a live band.
There is some speculation going around about a license for karaoke. Let me break this down for you. There are over seventy companies that produce karaoke tracks. Karaoke tracks are what a karaoke host plays in the background while clients sing to the accompanying musical track. Out of seventy plus karaoke brands, only two of these brands require licensing. These two karaoke brands are Sound Choice and Chartbuster. These two companies are both owned by Phoenix Entertainment. Chart buster is not allowed to be played under any circumstances in digital format. Sound Choice requires a license to display their logo on a screen in digital format. They do not hold copyright to most of their audio tracks which still leaves a venue open to lawsuit from the music producers.
To make a long story short, the only safe way to have karaoke at your bar or restaurant is to hire a company that does not utilize Sound Choice or Chartbuster branded tracks. This way, your standard licensing (BMI, ASCAP & SESAC) will protect you from fines and/or lawsuits.
At Karaoke Houston, we do not utilize any infringing tracks that may create legal troubles for your establishment or our company. We utilize the many other companies that are available with top quality tracks for your guests. You do not need licensed karaoke at your venue as you will still be open for lawsuits from music producers, you need 100% legal karaoke for your venue. Please contact us today for a quick and easy quote.
We can start your weekly show quickly and 100% legally!