What is an ASCAP license? Is it different than a BMI music license? Do I need both? What are my risks? Relax. Mood handles all required business music licensing through thousands of relationships with critical industry players, including labels, performing rights organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SoundExchange and publishers.


Mood’s Strategic Licensing Services are designed to help businesses navigate specialized music licensing needs.

The purpose of the United States Copyright Law is to protect the rights of artists, authors, composers and publishers to their work. When anyone plays or performs music in public, or distributes music in any form, they must have the rights to that music. If not, U.S. federal copyright laws call for severe legal and financial penalties. So, prior to using music or video in a commercial setting, a business must secure several rights. See below for a description of these rights.


The right of the actual sound recording, owned by the record label and/or artist. To make a copy of the sound recording, an individual or a business requires a license from the owners. Mood has direct licenses with all the major record labels – Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music, EMI and Warner Music – and nearly 5,000 independent record labels.


The right of the author, composer and publisher of the musical composition, to the song’s music and lyrics, referred to legally as the “underlying musical work.” To make a copy of the song, a business needs to secure the mechanical rights from the publisher directly or through The Harry Fox Agency who may be the publisher’s administrator. Mood has direct licenses for the mechanical rights with thousands of catalogs throughout the world as well as with the Harry Fox Agency.


The right to publicly perform a musical composition within a business. A performance includes the use of any form of music player, including but not limited to, an MP3 or CD player or any form of broadcast, such as AM/FM or satellite radio. These rights are either administered directly from the publisher or through performing rights organizations such as ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers), BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.) or SESAC. Mood holds direct licenses with all of the above as well as other performance rights organizations.


The rights granted by the owner of the Master Rights (the record label and/or artist) and Mechanical/Performance Rights (composer, author and/or publisher) to authorize the duplication, distribution, and performance of a musical work embodied within a sound recording to be ‘synchronized’ with various audio/visual media outputs. These outputs may include film, television shows, advertisements, video games, movie trailers, etc.


In order to produce a compilation CD, produce pre-loaded portable media or provide music downloads, a business or individual requires a license for each song from the record label and/or artist (owners of the Master Rights) and from the author, composer and publisher (owners of the Mechanical Rights).



Small Business Are Licensed


Not Paying Licensing Fees

That’s a revenue loss of $1.2 Billion for artists.

*based on survey prepared by consultant

Vazzy’s Cucina restaurant in Connecticut pays $18,000 to BMI for 9 unlicensed songs in 2012.

$1.5 Million
69 Taps in Medina sued by BMI for cover band in bar playing 10 songs.

Amount of money 2 Bars in Chicago hit with in lawsuits.

Amount that restaurant in New Jersey was sued by BMI.


Amount in dollars per incident for unauthorized performances of musical works.

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