If you’re using music at your events, you need to do your part by obtaining the appropriate music licenses for your meeting or event.
You may be wondering, though — why should I spend any time from my busy planning schedule to secure music license rights?
I’ll give you two reasons.
First, it’s what you’re legally required to do. What if your executive or main speaker’s walk-in music is shown on TV — and they discover you didn’t secure the rights to use it? You could be sued for the performance rights — plus penalties — and the negative PR your company will get may end up costing you more from a public perception perspective.
Second, there are hundreds of thousands of events and meetings happening worldwide. Multiply that by the standard performance rights amounts, and now you’re talking about millions of dollars that musicians, performers, publishers, etc. aren’t getting paid. (And those people have to eat, too!)
You may ask — does it apply to my little meeting or event, when I’m only using a snippet of a song just one time?
Here’s what The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has to say about that:
“Do I need permission to perform music as part of a presentation in class or at a training seminar?
“If the performance is part of face-to-face teaching activity at a non-profit educational institution, permission is not required. Permission is required when music is used as part of training seminars, conventions, or other commercial or business presentations.”
(Full disclosure: I’m a member of ASCAP, too, but that’s another story.)
In summary, it’s better to be safe than sorry, my friends. For more information about obtaining music licensing, go to the ASCAP website FAQs
And if you are using Taylor Swift’s music, beware — because this young lady is not afraid to go after anyone who isn’t compensating musicians appropriately!