Funeral Industry News

SESAC Reminding Funeral Homes to Comply with U.S. Copyright Law, Secure Music License

February 5, 2010

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SESAC Reminding Funeral Homes to Comply with U.S. Copyright Law, Secure Music License

imageThe week, the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) was informed by SESAC that it was sending postcards to more than 16,500 funeral homes throughout the country informing owners of their obligation to comply with U.S. copyright law by purchasing a 2010 music license authorization.

SESAC is one of three music licensing organizations in the United States, and the second to increase its scrutiny of funeral homes that perform copyrighted music recently. Late last year, an inspector from ASCAP, another music licensing agency, arrived at a funeral home in a small town in South Dakota during a funeral. After determining that the funeral home was allowing copyrighted music to be performed during the funeral service, the ASCAP inspector gave the firm a choice: pay for an ASCAP license for the remainder of the year or face a copyright infringement suit with penalties of up to $30,000. The funeral home had no choice but to pay for the individual ASCAP license. ASCAP has since expanded its enforcement efforts to different parts of the nation.

That individual license cost more than the annual music license fee available through NFDA, which gives a funeral home a blanket license covering all three music licensing organizations, SESAC, ASCAP and BMI.

Members of NFDA are eligible to purchase a comprehensive 2010 music license for $223, the lowest price available anywhere. A license must be purchased annually for each funeral home location in order for the business to be properly licensed and in compliance with federal copyright law.

NFDA extends this exclusive pricing for a 2010 music license to all federated state funeral associations and Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) member organizations: International Order of the Golden Rule, National Funeral Directors & Morticians Organization, Cremation Association of North America, Selected Independent Funeral Homes, Casket & Funeral Supply Association, Monument Builders Association of North America, National Concrete Burial Vault Association, and the American Monument Association.

To learn more about music licensing or to purchase a license, please visit www.nfda.org/about-nfda/membership-information or call NFDA at 800-228-6332.