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Veteran user
310 Posts

Profile of JAEIII
Hey Everyone,

If on a touring illusion show using other people's music (like Copperfield), anyone know which license from ASCAP you need to get? I can always talk to ASCAP, but I know of few of you probably can help me with this too. Thanks to all that reply!
Believe In Magic....I do!
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Elite user
Washington State
484 Posts

Profile of Magicduck
Often the theatre you play in would have the license. You will also need a BMI license, likely. Or you could just make sure that all music you use is with either BMI or ASCAP, so only one applies. But again, this is likely something you do not personally require.
Michael Messing
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Inner circle
Knoxville, TN
1814 Posts

Profile of Michael Messing
This is a tricky thing that has been debated many times on this forum. (Under the F/X section.) Technically, neither ASCAP nor BMI license music to a performer. They license music to a venue or show producer.

As long as you are not selling tickets yourself, you are not likely to need the licensing. This was confirmed by an executive at ASCAP.

The theatre, as Magicduck said, usually has a music license, as do many hotels for their ballrooms and clubs. If you put together a show and your income comes from the ticket sales, then you will be responsible for music licensing. But, if you are hired for a set fee, then it's not your problem. The person hiring you (producer) is responsible.

For example, I know that one time David Copperfield did three shows at a theatre in my home town. The local PBS station brought him in and promoted the show. The guy who made the arrangements is a friend of mine and I was talking to him a couple of days after the shows when the ASCAP representative called him to ask where their payment was for the music licensing. So, you see David Copperfield wasn't responsible for the fee, the promoter (or producer) was.

Hope this helps.

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Veteran user
310 Posts

Profile of JAEIII
That's great information...thanks Michael and MagicDuck. There will be many occasions though when my profit comes form my own ticket sales, so it will have to be something I need to look into further. I'll probably just get in cotact with someone from ASCAP. Thanks!
Believe In Magic....I do!
Bob Sanders
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Grammar Supervisor
Magic Valley Ranch, Clanton, Alabama
20507 Posts

Profile of Bob Sanders
ASCAP is one of the easiest organizations around for a magician to please. The rule of thumb for a qualifying magic show using ASCAP music, that is not licensed already by the "hall", is for a blanket fee of $7.50 per show the license is paid in full for an audience up to 5,500 people. The phone call will cost you nearly that. Commercial facilities frequently are responsible for those types of charges anyway. If you want to be safe, just spend another $7.50 and get on with the show. You can contact ASCAP on the Internet.

Bob Sanders
Magic By Sander
Bob Sanders

Magic By Sander / The Amazed Wiz
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