TRAVERSE CITY — Sing in the shower. Sing in the car. Belt it out with your favorite reality television show star in your living room.
But before you take your soulful rendition of “2 Legit 2 Quit” on the road, know that your venue must pay for you to play.
Whenever copyrighted music is performed in public, from coffee shop strummers to the power ballad headliner at the county fair, the venue is on the hook for royalties and licenses. Investigators from Performing Rights Organizations, or PROs, can show up any where, any time, so Traverse City businesses either buy licenses or require acts to stick to original tunes.
This plays muse to some performers and angers others whose talents don’t run to songwriting.
Mike Lloyd, who coordinates nightly live music at Kilkenny’s in Traverse City, calls it the cost of doing business.
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