PERFORMING RIGHTS ORGANIZATIONS
American songwriters and publishers usually join one of the three Performing Rights Organizations so that their rights will be enforced under Federal copyright laws. The Performing Rights Organizations, or PRO's, give their licensees the right to perform publicly the music of their members. More than 85% of the fees collected are paid to publishers and songwriters as royalties from the public performance of their music. Using this system relieves the publishers and songwriters from having to monitor their individual copyrights across the globe. It also makes it easier for the licensees who would otherwise have to negotiate royalties with each songwriter or publisher of the songs they wish to use.
There are three organizations in the United States that license performance rights for most of the music copyright holders in the U.S.:
(3) SESAC, INC.
When faced with the prospect of expending considerable time, effort and money in trying to negotiate separate licenses directly with each composer or publisher whose music will be performed, most social dance clubs and multi-day dance events using publicly performed music will choose to obtain a Blanket License from one or more of the performing rights organizations. A Blanket License permits the license holder to perform any or all the works in the performing rights organization’s repertory. The National FastDance Association has a blanket license agreement with all three of the copyright organizations. Therefore, all clubs/organizations/events affiliated with the NFA fall under the NFA's "umbrella" of protection.
Given the broad scope of the protection given copyright holders and those assigned their rights, anyone whose business in one way or another performs music for its customers or members should be aware that they may be called upon by one or more of the major performing rights organizations to license the performance of copyrighted works in their respective repertoires. Buying a license from one performing rights organization—say, BMI—does not protect a business from liability for unauthorized performance of songs in ASCAP’s or SESAC’s repertories.
Our Blanket License Agreements with the three performing rights organizations specifically help to protect our affiliated members from unnecessary difficulties.
The NFA will be happy to send an informative brochure that tells more about ASCAP, BMI and SESAC.
Simply write to us at:
National FastDance Association
3371 Debussy Road
Jacksonville, FL 32277
(Request Publication No. 07-24-276)
Or call us at our toll-free number: 1-877-NFA-CLUB