After nearly two years of intensive negotiations, the American Hotel & Motel Association (AH&MA) has approved a renewal of a copyright license with BMI. The license establishes BMI's rate coincident with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase, provides a discount to AH&MA members, and clearly carves out grand rights.
The agreement sets new rates for the use of BMI music and ties additional increases to the CPI before the AH&MA member discount, eliminating the lodging industry's uncertainty about the amount. The contract will continue for three years - automatically renewing in one-year periods unless canceled - thereby avoiding the periodic process of negotiation and the ensuing industry confusion.
"We've developed a strong relationship with AH&MA and the hotel industry via the use of our song catalog," said Tom Annastas, BMI vice president, General Licensing. "The new agreement, which reflects the growth and popularity of BMI music, allows songwriters and publishers to be paid fairly for the increasing use of their work." AH&MA President and CEO Bill Fisher, who was actively involved in bringing the negotiations to conclusion, added "AH&MA is proud of this effort and of the resulting agreement. We're pleased that we were able to bring hoteliers and songwriters together so that everyone benefits. Also, we're particularly delighted we can offer our members a discounted rate."
The BMI license will be mailed to hoteliers immediately. Although each hotel may decide for itself whether or not to accept the music license, AH&MA encourages the industry to do so.
As a performing rights organization, BMI brings hotel and songwriting professionals together. BMI provides hotels with an efficient, simple method for obtaining permission to use copyrighted music. Under U.S. Copyright Law, musical compositions are recognized as intellectual property similar to newspaper articles, books, movies, television shows, photographs, artwork, sports broadcasts and computer software programs. Such music cannot be performed in public without the permission of the copyright owner. A "public performance" is defined as music played for third parties by almost any means including CD's, cassettes, records, videos, live musicians, telephone music-on-hold, jukeboxes, and radio or television music played over a commercial system. BMI represents all genres of music and, through its music performance agreements, grants business legal access to its repertoire of 4.5 million musical works.
AH&MA, founded in 1910, is a federation of state lodging associations throughout the United States, with some 11,000 property members worldwide, representing more than 1.4 million rooms. AH&MA provides operations, technical, educational, marketing, and communications services plus governmental affairs representation to the lodging industry.