Whenever you perform in public a song you did not write, or play recorded music in public, such as at a
club, restaurant, concert, on the radio, or streaming on the Internet, you may
need to obtain Public Performance Rights. These pay a royalty to the composer of
a song for the right to perform or play their song in public.
Common uses of Public Performance Rights include background music at retail
stores and restaurants, playlists for on-air and web radio stations, concerts,
shows, and web streaming.
Performance Rights in the United States are handled by three Public Performance Rights agencies: ASCAP.com,
SESAC.com. How much you pay for
Public Performance Rights is based on a number of variables, and is determined
by these agencies.
In many cases these
rights are covered by the venue, so small indie artists and DJs often don't
need to secure these for private events. If you are not sure, you should ask
your venue or contact ASCAP.com,
SESAC.com for details.
station operators, restaurateurs, retailers, and web site administrators should contact these agencies for further details
as well. Expect to report your playlists to these agencies, and share a
percentage of your revenues as royalties, which they then distribute to the