Yes.  The owner of copyright under this title has the exclusive rights to do and to authorize any of the following:

to reproduce the copyrighted work in copies or phonorecords;

to distribute copies or phonorecords of the copyrighted work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership, or by rental, lease, or lending; and

in the case of sound recordings, to perform the copyrighted work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission.

Who do I paid to play music in my business?

Performing Rights Organization (PRO). PROs, a term generally used to describe collection societies in North America, function primarily to collect performance royalties for songwriters.

In North America the PROs are:

BMI, Broadcast Music, Inc.

ASCAP, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers

SOCAN, Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada

GMR, Global Music Rights

In Europe most known are:

SESAC, Society of European Stage Authors and Composers

SGAE Spanish Society of Authors and Publishers

And many others.

Do I need to sign with every PRO?

PROs represent different songwriters and publishers. Thus, based on the artist you want to play you may need to sign with one or more or all.

There are music services for business (B2B music services) such as Soundtrack, Sound Machine, Spotify, Jukeboxy, Rockbot, and Pandora that for a monthly fee allows you to play their music catalog legally on your business.

How much does it Costs?

Depends, all PROs have a minimum annual fee and then a fee per use depending on the size of the premises, how you are playing the music, how many customers, etc.

One exception to the rule allows businesses of a certain size (stores under 2,000 square feet, restaurants or bars under 3,750 square feet) to play music from a radio, television, or similar household device without a license, provided there are fewer than six speakers (with limits on the placement of speakers), and customers aren’t charged to listen.

If the performance or display is by audiovisual means, any visual portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 4 audiovisual devices, of which not more than one audiovisual device is located in any 1 room, and no such audiovisual device has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches, and any audio portion of the performance or display is communicated by means of a total of not more than 6 loudspeakers, of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space.

Can I stream Pandora, Spotify or Apple Music in my business?

No. Those services are built for consumers only. They are licensed for private, non-commercial use. You need a Public Performance License to play music in public places, including your customers and employees.

Can I play music I legally purchased in my business?

No. That music is for private not public use. You need a Public Performance License to play music in public places, including your customers and employees.

I have helped countless business navigate the intricacies of music licensing to secure the proper rights to play music in their business. I’d like to help you too, also by protecting your rights to trademarks, copyrights, and other intellectual property rights in the US and overseas.

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