If you provide entertainment in your dealership’s showroom or service waiting areas, whether its movies, television, or just radio, you may be required to obtain a license. Federal copyright laws require that a commercial establishment which rebroadcasts entertainment obtain a license. The licensing requirement applies whether you are showing DVDs, streaming, using a cable or satellite service, or even just playing the radio.
Most, but not all dealerships, are required to obtain a license to provide entertainment for customers. A license is required if the dealership has interior space of more than 2,000 gross square feet and broadcasts are shown on more than 4 screens total, or more than 1 screen in any room, or on any 1 screen that has a diagonal size greater than 55 inches, or sound (including radio) is broadcast on more than 6 speakers or more than 4 speakers in any room.
A license is relatively cheap (typically several hundred dollars a year). If you have a commercial account with your provider (cable or satellite company) the fee for the license may be included and the provider may have already taken care of this requirement. If your provider has not already obtained a license on your behalf, or you don’t use a provider, you can arrange to obtain a license by contacting:
- Broadcast Music, Inc. at BMI.com
- American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers at ASCAP.com
- SESAC, Inc. at SESAC.com
- Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC) at MPLC.org