History of the Jukebox License Office

Before 1978, "coin-operated phonorecord players," commonly referred to as jukeboxes, generally were not licensed by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC or the U.S. Government. However, due to revisions of the Copyright Law, a provision was included for a compulsory license from the U.S. Copyright Office for any publicly performed non-dramatic musical works by means of a "coin-operated phonorecord player" (jukebox). This act was placed into effect in 1978. At that time jukebox operators submitted payments to the Licensing Division of the U.S. Copyright Office in Washington D.C. Fees were structured on a flat per-box rate.

In 1989, The United States joined an international copyright treaty named the Berne Convention. One aspect of the Berne Convention is to offer "negotiated" licenses as opposed to "compulsory" licenses. Consequently, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC negotiated a license with the Amusement & Music Operators Association (AMOA), the largest trade association representing jukebox operators.

The result of these negotiations was the 1990 creation of the Jukebox License Office (JLO) and the Jukebox License Agreement, which is administered by the JLO. This agreement provides jukebox operators total access to all songs in the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC repertories. The Jukebox License Agreement is a single, economical, music license that provides the authorization required under the U.S. Copyright Law (Title 17) to publicly play virtually every copyrighted song on a coin-operated jukebox.

The original Jukebox License Agreement was re-negotiated by ASCAP, BMI, SESAC and the AMOA in 1999 and again in 2001. A new Jukebox License Agreement is now in effect as of January 1, 2007.



JLO History
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