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Music Licensing for Radio

When to get permission

If you perform music or play recorded music on the radio, or stream (non-interactive) online, you need to obtain a public performance license. Artists typically do not need to secure public performance rights for radio because they are covered by the station. Also most reputable web services (such as Pandora) handle this for you. However, if you plan to stream on your own web site, you need to obtain rights. Radio station operators and web site administrators also need to secure permission. Licenses should be secured before the music is used. You do not need to license songs that you wrote yourself or songs that you know are in the public domain.

    How to get permission

    To obtain licenses for any type of radio in the United States, please contact the following performing rights agencies:

    ASCAP      1-800-952-7227
    BMI           212-220-3000
    SESAC       615-320-0055

    Outside of the United States, please contact your local performing rights society. To obtain licensing for any type of web radio that will be broadcasted in the United States, even if the originating server is outside of the United States please contact the following agency:

    SoundExchange      202-640-5858

    How the royalties are paid

    Radio operators, web administrators, and others seeking public performance rights, should contact the agencies listed above to inquire about licensing for their station, web site, or web service. Expect to report your playlists to these agencies, and share a small percentage of your revenues for royalties, which the agencies then distribute to the copyright holders.

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    Relevant music license you need

    Mechanical License

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    Print License

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    Synchronization License

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    Public Performance License

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    Master License

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    Theatrical License

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    About CopyrightNotary.com

    Copyright Notary helps indie artists, corporations, churches, schools, community groups, and individuals get permission to use copyrighted music for all types of uses. Its Cover Song Licensing service makes it easy to get 100% of the permission required to release a new version of any song in 1-2 business days. Through its Custom Licensing services, Copyright Notary offers music rights clearances for any use, with dedicated, personal assistance from an experienced specialist. Committed to accuracy and transparency, Copyright Notary adds value to the music industry through innovation, education, and efficient rights administration.

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