Home   -  About Us  -  Contact Us  -  Jobs  -  Languages - Site Map
Nebraska Department of Revenue
 

Nebraska Department of Revenue

Property AssessmentMotor FuelsCharitable GamingNebraska Lottery

Subscribe!

 

Click here for ways to contact us and mailing addresses.

Music Licensing Agency Act

This guidance document is advisory in nature but is binding on the Nebraska Department of Revenue (Department) until amended. A guidance document does not include internal procedural documents that only affect the internal operations of the Department and does not impose additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties or include confidential information or rules and regulations made in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act. If you believe that this guidance document imposes additional requirements or penalties on regulated parties, you may request a review of the document.

This guidance document may change with updated information or added examples. The Department recommends you do not print this document. Instead, sign up for the subscription service at revenue.nebraska.gov to get updates on your topics of interest.

Music Licensing Agency

A music licensing agency (agency) is an association or corporation that licenses the public performance of nondramatic musical works on behalf of copyright owners consisting of music and any accompanying lyrics when such works are not created for use in:

  • Musical theater; or
     
  • Any other work that uses the music to tell a story or as part of the story or plot.

Some of the better known music licensing agencies include the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), and Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC).

Licensing Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2019, a music licensing agency cannot license or attempt to license the use of or collect or attempt to collect any compensation with regard to any sale, license, or other disposition of a performing right unless the music licensing agency is registered with the Nebraska Department of Revenue on or before February 15. An agency that fails to register, renew their registration, or engages in business without registration is subject to a fine in the amount of $10,000 for each 45-day period which has passed since February 15 of the registration year.

Music Licensing Agency Contract Requirements

Beginning January 1, 2019, no music licensing agency may enter into, or offer to enter into, a contract for the payment of royalties by a proprietor unless, at least 72 hours prior to the execution of the contract, the agency delivers to the proprietor or the proprietor's employees , in writing, the following:

  • A schedule of the rates and terms of royalties under the contract; and
     
  • Notice that the proprietor is entitled to review the agency’s performing-rights agreements.

Also, beginning January 1, 2019, any contract for payment of royalties executed in the state must:

  • Be in writing;
     
  • Be signed by both parties, and include, the following information —
     
    • The proprietor’s name and business address;
       
    • The name and location of each place of business to which the contract applies;
       
    • The duration of the contract; and
       
    • The schedule of rates and terms of the royalties to be collected under the contract, including any sliding scale or schedule for any increase or decrease of the rates for the duration of the contract.

Who is a proprietor?

A proprietor is any  owner of a retail establishment, restaurant, inn, bar, tavern, sports or entertainment facility, or other similar place of business or professional office located in Nebraska in which the public may assemble, and in which nondramatic musical works or similar copyrighted works may be performed, broadcast, or otherwise transmitted for the enjoyment of members of the public.

3% Tax on Royalties

Every music licensing agency that obtains royalties for selling or licensing a performing right of any nondramatic works in Nebraska is required to file a return reporting the tax. The return for 2018 must be filed with the Nebraska Department of Revenue on or before March 15, 2019.

The tax must be paid for the act or privilege of selling or licensing in this state performing rights in any musical composition, which has been copyrighted under the laws of the United States, in an amount equal to three percent of the gross receipts of all such sales, licenses, or other dispositions. The tax must be paid to the Department of Revenue annually on or before March 15 of each year.

Registered Music Licensing Agencies as of February 15, 2019

  • American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP)

ASCAP has provided the following information that can be viewed by a proprietor:

  1. ASCAP’s performing-rights agreements that provide for the payment of royalties made available from ASCAP to any proprietor in Nebraska; and
     
  2. Current list of performed works and agency members and affiliates represented by ASCAP.
  • Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI)

BMI has provided the following information that can be viewed by a proprietor:

  1. BMI’s performing-rights agreements that provide for the payment of royalties made available from BMI to a proprietor in Nebraska; and
     
  2. Current list of performed works and agency members and affiliates represented by BMI.
  • SESAC Performing Rights, LLC

SESAC has provided the following information that can be viewed by a proprietor:

  1. SESAC’s performing-rights agreements that provide for the payment of royalties made available from SESAC to any proprietor in Nebraska; and
     
  2. Current list of performed works and agency members and affiliates represented by SESAC.

Back to top of page


Official Nebraska State Government Home Page | Privacy Policy | About Outside Links
Forms Frequently Asked Questions Tax Incentives Information Guides Legal Information News Releases/FYI Research Sales Tax Rate Finder Tax Calendar Taxpayer Education Useful Links Video Center