When playing or performing background music in public, like in your business, you must have the proper rights. We have arrangements with all major collecting societies so you can enjoy all the music you want, with a catalog of 35M songs & no restrictions.
BMI logo ASCAP logo SESAC logo Global Music Rights logo SOCAN logo ReSound logo

Whether your place of business is a coffee shop, a clothing store, a spa, a gym or any number of things, you must have the proper licenses in order to play music. These are called Public Performance Rights.

Businesses that are expected to pay for these Public Performance Rights include (but are not limited to) Restaurants, Hotels and Motels, Business Offices, Fitness Centers, Schools and Residential Communities, Retail Stores, Bars and Nightclubs.

According to the law, a “public performance” includes any music being played outside of one’s normal circle of friends or family. Even if your event is closed to the public, playing music for any group outside of these parameters is considered illegal unless you hold the proper licenses to do so. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of an mp3 file, a CD or any kind of radio transmission.

These laws are enforced by Performing Rights organizations in the United States (ASCAP, BMI, GMR, and SESAC) and in Canada (SOCAN and RE:SOUND). And these laws are to be taken extremely seriously!

Small venues have caught the attention of ASCAP and were given a choice. They could either purchase the legal rights, or pay up to $30,000 for every copyrighted song played. ASCAP in 2015 filed a famous lawsuit against a bar, seeking $150,000 in damages for not purchasing a license to play songs. Even summer camps whose charges like to sing such standards as “Puff the Magic Dragon” around the campfire have been put on notice.

In 2011, WRAL News discovered that BMI had filed 38 suits that year. In 2015 the suits increased to 160, and the numbers are going up year after year.

Join SOUNDMACHINE to get a free 30 days trial, and make these worries a thing of the past! We hold direct licenses with all US and Canadian collecting services and all the rights you need are included in the price of membership

Note: Our licenses alone do not give a local establishment the right to engage a DJ to play music, to hire a live band to perform, to use the SOUNDMACHINE service for karaoke or for any other use. Our licenses similarly do not cover an establishment that charges a cover, entry or similar fee to customers entering the location. Our licenses do not cover any other music sources such as radio, television, CD or MP3 players. Performing music at the location in this manner or charging admission is generally not authorized by the licenses SOUNDMACHINE has obtained and may subject the local establishment to liability for copyright infringement, unless other, more extensive licenses are obtained. For further information please feel free to contact our Support Team. They will likely direct you to a knowledgeable attorney or music rights consultant.

Non USA or Canadian customers: to obtain the proper licenses to perform music in public please refer to the collecting societies operating in your country. If you need any help feel free to contact our Support Team at support@sound-machine.com.
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