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What is a Performing Rights Organization in the music industry?

Performing Rights Organization - BMI - ASCAP - SESAC

A Performing Rights Organization is an association that licenses the public performance of musical works on behalf of the copyright owners and publishers such as ASCAP - American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, BMI - Broadcast Music Incorporated, and SESAC. These performing rights organizations (also known as a PRO) issue licenses to users of in public performed, non-dramatic music for a fee, and then pay royalties to the publishers and songwriters of the performed works.

What are BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC?

ASCAP represents every kind of music. ASCAP protects the rights of its members by licensing and distributing royalties for the nondramatic public performances of their copyrighted works ASCAP exists to ensure that music creators are paid promptly when their works are performed publicly. ASCAP also provides workshops, showcases, web site info and publications, and an exclusive, tailormade benefits package that includes health and instrument insurance, a credit union, discounts on musical accessories, travel and much more.

BMI - Broadcast Music Incorporated is an American performing rights organization that represents over 300,000 songwriters, composers, and music publishers. The company collects license fees for the public performances of compositions for radio airplay, broadcast, cable TV, Internet, live and recorded performances. Royalties are then paid to the writers, composers and copyright holders it represents.

SESAC is the 2nd oldest performing rights organization in the USA. SESAC is the smallest of the 3 USA-based performing rights organizations; the company believes its size is its biggest benefit. SESAC prides itself in developing individual relationships with songwriters and publishers. There have been thousands of artists who have performed SESAC songs, including Usher, Destiny's Child, Kenny Chesney, Eric Clapton, U2, LeAnn Rimes, Mariah Carey, Alan Jackson, and Christina Aguilera.

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