They’re Playing My Song! – Music Licensing Through ASCAP and BMI

Attorney, The Creekmore Law Firm PC

Do you own a restaurant? Retail store? Dance studio? Do you want to play music in your place of business?  If so, you’ll need to secure public performance rights as to the music you intend to play through what are called “performing rights organizations” or “PROs.”  Obtaining the rights to do this from every single artist as to each particular song would be virtually impossible for business owners, so public performance rights licensing is now primarily handled by two major PROs:  ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated).  Each of these companies has a catalog of around 4,000,000 songs, and purchasing what is known as a “blanket license” will let you play anything from the corresponding repertoire (or catalog of songs) of the business from which you purchase the license.  You as a licensee pay ASCAP and BMI for your use, and they divide up the fees you pay for your license among all the rights owners with work in their respective repertoires.

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