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Licensing for Public Performance
If you perform music in public, or play recorded music in public, such as at a club; restaurant; concert; on the radio; or streaming on the web; you might need to obtain Public Performance Rights. You do not need to license songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the Public Domain.

Small indie artists and DJs performing at private events often do not need to secure Public Performance Rights because they are covered by the venue. However, this is something they should confirm with the venue, and with the public performance rights agencies listed below. K12 educators typically do not need to obtain rights for school performances, however this can depend on the type of performance and is something educators should confirm with the public performance rights agencies. Church leaders should contact, an organization that caters especially to churches for various licensing needs, including Public Performance. Radio station operators, bars, clubs, retail stores, and web site administrators need to secure Public Performance rights. Expect to report your playlists and pay a percentage of your revenues to three agencies that distribute the royalties to the composers.

In the United States, all Public Performance Rights are handled by three agencies. If you are unsure whether you need Public Performance Rights, you should contact these agencies:
ASCAP 1-800-952-7227
BMI 212-220-3000
SESAC 615-320-0055
You might need:

Public Performance Rights
If you perform music in public or play recorded music in public.

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