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Music Licensing

In the case of recorded music, the performance rights generally are owned by a performing rights organization. The three largest in the US include the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP); Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI); and SESAC, Inc.

As such, clubs must obtain a licensing fee to obtain the legal permission required to perform copyrighted music under the US Copyright Law. This includes live music performances and recorded music (like a DJ or the broadcast of subscription music services).

Each organization is separate and distinct and represents different songwriters, composers, publishers and copyright holders, and each organization licenses only the copyrighted works of its own respective affiliated copyright holders. For example, a license with BMI does not grant your club the authorization for the right to use the copyrighted music of SESAC- or ASCAP-represented songwriters, composers, publishers, or copyright holders.

Established Discount Programs for CMAA Members

  • Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI) – Current CMAA members are eligible to save 5 percent on annual licensing fees. BMI customer service representatives are available at 888-689-5264 to answer questions about the CMAA music licensing discount program and to assist in completing the license or visit the BMI website for more information.
  • SESAC – Current CMAA members are eligible for a 15 percent discount. Visit SESAC to get started.

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