I read an article a while back concerning playing music in a photo studio needing to be licensed through BMI or ASCAP. Similar to the licensing that churches have to pay to use choir music that is still under copyright, or even the music played on the radio that stations have to pay a royalty on, there is a royalty due the artist when their music is played in a commercial setting. That would include any business where CDs, DVDs, broadcast or cable/satelite Radio and TV are available as "background" entertainment.
The license isn't terribly expensive - but they do have a track record of looking for abusers and getting judgments against them. Think of them as the FDA for the ears.
Here is an article from the Professional Photographers of America private website (of which I am a member),siting a program with XM Satellite where the royalty fees are covered under a program administered through PPA.
XM for Business
Rock your customers, crank up your brand, and turn your business ON with XM for Business. With this new service, you can set the tone of your studio by tuning into one of over 170 different satellite radio channels. Plus, you’ll take the worry out of renewing your ASCAP, BMI and SESAC licenses for playing background music in your studio space. Let XM for Business pay the fees for you!
PPA members will have the Activation Fee waived (a $14.95 value) and will receive a discounted rate of $27.95 per month. If you decide to pre-pay for a full year of use, you’ll even receive a one-month discount!
If you already have an XM radio system in your studio, you only need to upgrade your existing contract to the PPA XM for Business plan. If you’re purchasing XM for the first time, PPA has arranged for discounted system packages.
For more information on XM for Business rates and XM kits, click here or call 1-866-596-7045.
I remember talking to a music industry insider saying the guy who wrote the song "Dust In The Wind" - Kansas, Kerry Livgren doesn't even have to get out of bed to make several thousand dollars a day - just off of radio airplay alone. The song is one of the most played songs in the world. They take this money seriously.
Maybe the NADL could actually provide a benefit to membership with a similar blanket license deal for member labs.