The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds (ARVC) has secured exclusive music licensing agreements with ASCAP and BMI, the two largest music licensing companies in the country, which have been packaged by ARVC into one, singularly priced, affordable plan.

The agreements, finalized this month, provide ARVC member parks with discounts of up to 70 percent for ASCAP and BMI licensing fees, amounting to potentially huge annual savings for parks large and small, according to a news release.

“The only way private park operators can obtain these discounts is to be a member of ARVC,” said Paul Bambei, ARVC’s president and CEO, adding that he anticipates a significant increase in ARVC membership as a result of the music licensing agreements.

“Private park operators are always looking for ways to lower their operating costs and these agreements underscore once again how ARVC membership saves park operators money. If you’re not an ARVC member, you’re simply leaving lots of money on the table,” Bambei said.

“We also see this as a win for private parks because park operators who participate in ARVC’s new music licensing program now have an effective way to stop unwanted phone calls from music licensing companies,” Bambei said. The agreements specifically forbid these music license companies from contacting any park that signs up to the new program with ARVC. The license will cover the entire calendar year from Jan. 1 through Dec. 31, and any park that signs up within the current enrollment period will be “BMI-ASCAP license-protected” for the full, upcoming 2013 year.

Under federal copyright law, businesses utilizing music in public areas are required to purchase music licenses regardless of whether the music is performed live or made available through Muzak, satellite radio and TV, cable, DJs, live performers, karaoke, CDs, DVDs, or even used as music on-hold.

Parks that play copyrighted music without a license could be liable for damages up to $30,000. In addition, if a jury finds that the infringement was “willful,” the damages assessed could run as high as $150,000 per song plus legal costs.

ASCAP and BMI together represent nearly 1 million recording artists. In fact, BMI and ASCAP combined represent as much as 95 percent of all copyrighted songwriters, composers and publishers in the country, according to E-Commerce Times and other sources.

Bambei said the music enrollment period begins immediately and that parks will have until Nov. 30, 2012, to sign up for the program that will cover the upcoming calendar year of 2013. Additionally, because BMI has already accepted fees (in some cases) in 2012 on their own that covered a portion of 2013, contractual arrangements have been made to refund any park owner for these applicable 2013 BMI license fees.

ARVC has made enrollment easy: simply call the ARVC office at (303) 681-0401. Parks that are not currently members of ARVC will need to join the association in order to participate in the program.

“By taking advantage of this combined license, you can now play virtually all the music you want from any artist BMI and ASCAP represents, all year long, worry free, including most live performances,” Bambei said. “There is simply no better licensing plan available in the industry.”

Based in Denver, Colo., ARVC provides private park operators with marketing support services; public affairs advocacy; educational enrichment and networking opportunities as well as major discounts on products and services needed by campgrounds, RV parks and resorts across the United States. Visit www.arvc.org for more information.