If you are here you are probably considering using music to entertain your attendees. Whether your entertainment provided is by a DJ, or a band, or even if you’re simply playing music from your Spotify account, it’s important to understand that you need a license. The correct type of license to have for live events is called as the name precisely says:
Public Performance: This type of license is for any piece of music that’s performed publicly. Before you get ahead of yourself, playing a song recording is still a public performance. A public performance license is one of the easiest licenses to obtain and can be procured through one of the rights agencies.
Who is responsible for a License?
The performer, event organizer and venue operator involved in producing the performance are all responsible for licensing the music that is performed. The law states all who participate in, or are responsible for, performances of music are legally responsible. However, in practice, the venue or event promoter/organizer is the sole party responsible for obtaining the correct music license. They are the ones who will be penalized for copyright infringement.
How do I get a public performance license?
Business owners in the United States should contact the three rights agencies that handle all public performance licensing in the United States, ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC, to inquire about obtaining public performance licenses. Expect to report your playlists to these agencies and share a small percentage of your revenues as royalties. The agencies then distribute these royalties to the copyright holders.
To obtain public performance licenses in the United States, please contact the following performing rights agencies:
Outside of the United States, please contact your local performing rights society. You can see the full list here.