Music (includes music creators who write, compose or publish music and anyone who uses music in their business)

Music (includes music creators who write, compose or publish music and anyone who uses music in their business)

If you plan to play or incorporate copyrighted music in your business (i.e., on the internet, over the phone, in the office/building, restaurants, etc.), you will need to obtain advanced permission from the copyright owner, or their representative. Without proper authorization you are breaking the law and can be held liable for damages.  

Contact: U.S. Copyright Office

A composer or publisher who owns the copyrights to musical works grants performing rights organizations (PRO) the right to license performances of the works, and the right to prevent others from doing so without permission. The PRO will issue, for a fee, a license to individuals and organizations that use music in public places. Performing rights organizations serve as clearinghouses for the royalties collected on their writers’ and publishers’ copyrighted works. Most businesses choose to obtain a blanket license from one or more of the PRO rather than get permission from each individual copyright owner.

The following performing rights organizations license performance rights for most of the music copyright holders in the United States:

Each PRO above represents different songwriters, composers, publishers and copyright holders, and each organization licenses only the copyrighted works of its own respective affiliated copyright holders.

The Jukebox License Office (JLO) offers a music license known as the Jukebox License Agreement which provides jukebox operators total access to all songs in the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC repertories. The Jukebox License Agreement is a single, economical, annual music license that provides the authorization under the U.S. Copyright Law required to publicly perform copyrighted songs on your analog jukebox. Jukebox License Office does not regulate Internet jukeboxes. Contact the three PRO's above for licensing. (21)

Contact: Jukebox License Office, 615.727.5366

Additional Information:
Better Business Bureau: Music in the Marketplace - Information concerning the law and music users’ responsibilities