Questions & Answers
Music is protected under copyright law, therefore it is generally illegal to play music publicly without a license to do so. Even when you purchase a record or DVD, you are only granted the authorization for a non-public performance, such as in your home or car. No public performance right is attached to the sale of these products. Therefore, if you play this music in your establishment or at your event, you are required to obtain authorization from the copyright owner (or their representative, i.e. ASCAP, BMI, SESAC).The law as it concerns publically playing music is U.S. Code › Title 17 › Chapter 1 › § 101.
See a copy of it here: https://www.law.cornell.edu/ uscode/text/17/101
ASCAP has written an informative pamplet entitled, “ASCAP keeps you in tune with the copyright law,” which explains why a license is needed and what an ASCAP license covers.
Copyright and the Public Domain from the Public Domain Information Project: http://pdinfo.com/copyright-law/copyright-and-public-domain.php
1. What does your NFA license cover?
With our license you will be covered at any venue you choose to have your classes, parties, events.
Any deejay, live band, dance instructor, etc. who presents copyrighted music under your license is covered.
2. What does your NFA license NOT cover?
We do not license international events, only domestic.
We do not license “streaming” music on websites or apps.
We do not license YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram videos.
3. Who is responsible for licensing?
The club or event host/sponsor is responsible for securing licenses in order to present copyrighted music at their dance venue. Lounges usually have their own licenses. Deejays may have their own licenses, but they will not cover the club or event host/sponsor.
For hotels, SESAC will allow their license to extend to and cover your event. ASCAP and BMI will not. ASCAP and BMI are only interested in who is presenting the event. It is the hosts/sponsors that are doing so, not the hotel and so the hosts/sponsors are responsible for obtaining licenses.
4. How much does it cost to obtain a license?
Generally, we can provide your club or event with the same licenses as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC provide at a fraction of the cost.
1. Do NFA licenses cover livestreaming?
No, our licenses do not cover live broadcasts at this time.
2. How do I go about licensing my live broadcast?
Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram are covered (for public performance) by ASCAP and BMI for streamed content.
If you wish to stream from a Proprietary Website or Mobile App, you may obtain a “digital” license from one of the PROs:
1. How much does membership cost?
We offer two types of membership and the dues are different with each one.
Full Club Membership – for social dance clubs
Annual Dues: 30 cents per member, Minimum Fee: $25 – Maximum Fee: $100
Supporting Membership – for individuals such as instructors, deejays, vendors and organizations, events
Annual Dues: $60
2. How long does my membership last?
Membership lasts for one calendar year. Renewal has to be repeated each year. We hope to offer auto-renewal through PayPal in the near future.
3. How do I know which membership type is best for my organization?
We are happy to discuss the best option for your club or event. We are confident we can provide substantial savings for your music licensing needs. Feel free to contact us anytime or give us a call at 1-877-632-2582.
4. What if I just need to make a payment and don’t want to fill out the forms?
You may use our direct link to Paypal:
1. ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC
American composers, lyricists, and publishers usually join one of these three performing rights organizations. These organizations grant licensees the right to publicly perform the works of all of their members, for whom the organizations collect and distribute the fees paid by the licensees. Our Blanket License Agreements with the three performing rights organizations specifically help to protect our affiliated members from unnecessary difficulties. See ASCAP’s “Frequently Asked Questions” page, BMI’s “Licensing FAQ” page, and SESAC’s “Music Licensing” page.
2. Are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC agencies within the federal bureaucracy?
No, all three are public corporations with offices in Nashville, Atlanta and New York primarily. They are in no way affiliated with the Federal Trades Commission or the Federal Communications Commission. But they do have the authority under federal law to enforce Federal Copyright Laws covered specifically by Title 17 of the United States Code.
3. How do I know which songs are covered by the PRO’s?
Here are links to searchable databases of the three PRO’s:
ASCAP – https://www.ascap.com/repertory
NFA licenses do not cover videos on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or YouTube at this time.
These websites already have in place agreements with ASCAP and BMI that cover the public performance aspect of videos posted by users of the sites.
If a video is flagged it could be due to other licensing restrictions such as sync or master recording rights.