So, here’s what I know already:
[li]You are not a lawyer; or, if you are a lawyer, nothing you say here should be construed as legal advice, and anyone reading your comments bears sole responsibility for anything he or she may do as a result of the information you post.[/li][li]In the United States, the copyright on a particular piece of music is generally separable into two categories: the copyright on the recording, and the copyright on the composition.[/li][li]In the United States, performance of a copyrighted recording is restricted and requires a license from the recording copyright holder, and requires royalties be paid to the composer (not the recording artist).[/li][li]In the United States, performance of a copyrighted composition is not restricted and requires no license from the composer, but still requires royalties be paid (usually via ASCAP or other membership organization).[/li][/ul]
(Please do correct me if I’ve gotten any details wrong above.)
For the following, feel free to assume a jurisdiction within the United States. Also assume music that is copyrighted and not in the public domain, nor available under a free license (such as Jonathan Coulton’s stuff, which is available under a free Creative Commons license).
So here’s what I don’t know, and what I’m seeking answers to:
[li]Say you’ve got a pep band, and you go and buy sheet music from the local music store and you perform the piece for an audience of a few thousand at a hockey game. The audience isn’t there to hear you; they’re there to watch the game. Is the act of buying the sheet music (with the proceeds going to the publisher and thence in part to the composer and the arranger) sufficient to satisfy the requirement to pay royalties to the composer for performing the piece?[/li][li]Does the answer to the above change if the hockey game is being broadcast on television and/or radio and the performance of the piece can be overheard thereon?[/li][li]What if the band doesn’t buy the sheet music but rather has a member arrange a piece for pep band independently? Does the band owe royalties in this case, and if so, how would they be paid?[/li][li]Does the answer to the above change if it’s not a pep band at a hockey game, but a rock band covering their favorite artist’s songs at a club in front of a few hundred fans?[/li][/ol]
I may have follow-up questions depending on the answers to the above. I appreciate your assistance!