CITY COUNCIL AGENDA ITEM
Meeting Date: November 8, 2005
Subject/Title: Adopt a Resolution approving, and authorizing the City
Manager to sign a license agreement with The American Society of Composers,
Authors & Publishers (“ASCAP”)
Prepared by: Poldina Scherff, Recreation Manager
Submitted by: Craig D. Bronzan, Director of Parks and Recreation
It is recommended that to avoid copyright liability, the City of Brentwood
adopt a Resolution approving and authorizing the City Manager to sign a
license agreement with The American Society of Composers, Authors &
No previous action. This is a new agreement with one of three performing
rights organizations representing music copyright owners.
Title 17 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) establishes property rights in
musical works and grants their creators and owners the exclusive right to
perform, or authorize others to publicly perform, the works (17 U.S.C.
§106(4)). In other words, before a third party may publicly perform a
copyrighted work, permission must be obtained from the copyright owner.
Also, the law provides the copyright owner with the right to be paid for the
use of his/her work.
Local governments are subjected to the provisions of Title 17 and may be
held liable for infringing on a copyright. In fact, due to the broad
definition of “public performance,” municipalities have been targets of
infringement actions. Title 17 defines a public performance as one “in a
place open to the public or at any place where a substantial number of
persons outside of the normal circle of family and its social acquaintances
is gathered.” In addition, the law requires municipalities to obtain
authorization, for more than just performances by live musicians. For
example, “performances” requiring authorization might include: exercise
classes, athletic events, parades, city sponsored concerts, festivals and
dances. In order to comply with the copyright law the City, in any of the
previous examples, would be required to obtain permission from the copyright
owners(s) of each song played.
The attached annual agreement permits the City to play or perform music
currently licensed by ASCAP. The authorizing resolution allows the City
Manager to agree to and execute future one year extensions under the same
terms and conditions of the original agreement.
The payment of an annual license of $268 will be paid out of the Parks and
Recreation budget. Submitting annual reports related to the City’s
population and submitting reports following certain City “special events”
would also come from the Parks and Recreation department. The license
defines a special event as musical events, concerts, shows, festivals and
other events of similar duration where the gross revenue exceeds $25,000.
Should the City hold a special event as so defined in the Agreement, .01% of
the agreement revenues must be paid to ASCAP within ninety days of the
event. We currently have no programs that fall into this category.
License Agreement – Local Governmental Entities
A RESOLUTION OF THE CITY COUNCIL OF THE CITY OF BRENTWOOD APPROVING AND
AUTHORIZING THE CITY MANAGER TO SIGN, A LICENSE AGREEMENT WITH THE AMERICAN
SOCIETY OF COMPOSERS, AUTHORS & PUBLISHERS (ASCAP).
WHEREAS, the City of Brentwood has been approached by the American Society
of Composers, Authors & Publishers (“ASCAP”) to enter into a license
agreement for the performance of music at City facilities and for City
WHEREAS, the license agreement shall be for an initial term of one year,
commencing September 1, 2005 and continuing thereafter for additional terms
of one year each; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the City Council of the City of
Brentwood hereby approves, and authorizes the City Manager to sign, the
agreement with the American Society of Composers, Authors & Publishers, for
one year and further authorizes future one-year extensions under the same
terms and conditions.
PASSED, APPROVED AND ADOPTED by the City Council of the City of Brentwood at
a regular meeting held on the 8th day of November 2005, by the following
Margaret Wimberly, CMC