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Am I eligible to join ASCAP?
You can join ASCAP as a writer if you've written or co-written music or lyrics for at least one musical work that is available to the public. It could be a song that you perform live or on a CD that you sell at your concerts, a song in a YouTube video, a digital download or sheet music - if it's out there, you're eligible to join. You can join ASCAP as a publisher if you (or your business, partnership, corporation, etc.) are actively engaged in the music publishing business, and assume the financial risk involved in publishing music. You are also eligible for a publisher membership if you are a writer and have not assigned your publishing rights to someone else. A publisher membership allows you to collect the publisher share of a song's performance royalties.
Where can I obtain an ASCAP application?
Applications for ASCAP writer and publisher memberships can be obtained on our website ( by clicking the "join" button. this will display a link for the writer and publisher applications. the processing fee for each application is $50.
I don't have a computer. Can you mail me an ASCAP application?
ASCAP applications are processed on-line. The ASCAP website can be accessed at a public library.
Can I become a writer member of ASCAP if I am already affiliated with another society as a writer?
You can only belong to one society at a time as a writer for licensing public performances in the United States; however, you can be a publisher at multiple societies. You can transfer as a writer to ASCAP from your current society, but you will need to contact your current society to obtain the appropriate information to make the switch.
I am a member of a band/group. Can my group join ASCAP?
Each member of the group must complete a separate writer application and each member of the group must meet the eligibility criteria. It is recommended that each member apply for a separate publisher membership; however, only one application needs to be submitted if the group chooses to join as a collective publisher member. If this is the case, the publisher membership must be structured as a partnership, corporation or LLC.
Are there any costs associated with ASCAP membership?
There is a one-time, $50 fee for each application submission. This fee is non-refundable, but ASCAP does not charge annual dues or fees.
Why does ASCAP charge an application fee?
There are administrative costs associated with new ASCAP members which reduce distribution revenue for existing members. To offset some of these costs, ASCAP implemented application fees.
I want to join ASCAP as a writer, but your competitors do not charge an application fee. Why should I join ASCAP instead?
While our competitors do not charge application fees for writers to join, ASCAP membership has significant value and these benefits greatly outweigh the nominal fee. Furthermore, our competitors typically charge a fee for publishing companies ($150-$250) that is greater than the collective costs of joining ASCAP as a writer and publisher.
If I join ASCAP as a writer and later want to join as a publisher, do I still have to pay the processing fee?
Writer and publisher memberships are separate and each application submitted is subject to the non-refundable application processing fee.
If I apply and am elected to ASCAP membership, but later change my mind, can I get my money back?
The application processing fee is non-refundable.
If I resign, do I get my money back?
The application processing fee is non-refundable.
Why is the fee non-refundable?
The fee is associated with the costs of processing the membership application and therefore cannot be returned.
I don't have a credit card to pay the application processing fee. Can I submit another form of payment?
If you don't have a US-issued Visa, MasterCard or American Express credit or debit card, you must first supply ASCAP with another form of payment using the ASCAP Processing Fee Form. Upon receipt and processing of your payment you will be supplied with instructions to complete your application. The fee for processing a check, money order or foreign credit card payment is $50.
How much does it cost to become a member?
There is a one-time, $50 fee for submission of an application. This fee is non-refundable, but ASCAP does not charge annual dues or fees.
I do not have a valid US Social Security Number or I am a not a US citizen. Can I still join ASCAP?

You may join ASCAP if you do not have a valid US Social Security Number or are not a US citizen; however, additional income reporting documentation must be provided with your application. Please go to the IRS website ( to obtain a W8-BEN form. When you have completed the application please mail the original completed W8-BEN with your application number written on the top to:

Attn: Applications
7920 West Sunset Blvd.
Third Floor
Los Angeles, CA 90046

I want to join ASCAP as a publisher. Can you check if the publisher name I want to use is available?
The availability of the publisher name will be checked automatically by the ASCAP system prior to submission of your application. If the name is not available you will not be able to submit the application until you choose another available name.
Do I need to submit any music with the application?
How long does it take for me to hear back from ASCAP once I've submitted my application?
You will receive information from ASCAP regarding your online application immediately upon submission. If additional documentation is required to process your application please provide the information within 90 business days of submission. Upon receipt of this documentation your application will be processed within 10 business days.
I submitted my application several days ago but can't find my Application ID. Can you check the status?
We can check the status of your application without an Application ID; however, we will require the Social Security Number or TIN that you provided on your application to confirm your identity.
Why was my application declined?
If you completed the online application, the reason for ineligibility was sent via e-mail to the e-mail address provided in your application.
I received the e-mail that confirms that I've been elected as an ASCAP member. How do I register my music with ASCAP?
Title registrations are essential to the proper distribution of performance royalties and should be submitted to ASCAP once a musical work has been fully created. After you receive confirmation of your election to ASCAP membership, please allow five (5) business days before you attempt to register your works with ASCAP for the first time. Once this time has elapsed, ASCAP members should register their works through the Online Title Registration system. You may access Online Title Registration through the "Members" link on the ASCAP home page or the "Register a Work" link on your Member Access account. FAQs, a downloadable Title Registration Guide and a video tutorial are available for your reference. If you need additional assistance, please log onto your Member Access account and submit a Member Service Inquiry. Select the "My Catalog" Category and select the appropriate Topic.
What is Member Access?
Member Access is ASCAP's secure online web portal that provides you with access to your ASCAP information. Once you activate your Member Access account, you will have the ability to update personal details (e.g., address, bank account information, etc.), view and print the entitled party and share details of your Works, view and download ASCAP performance statements, register your works and electronically create and track service requests to ASCAP. Future online resources for ASCAP members will be provided via Member Access so activation of your account is highly recommended.
Can I register my music for copyright protection or get a bar code for my CD through ASCAP?
ASCAP does not register music for the purpose of copyright protection; this is the responsibility of the writer(s) and publisher(s) of any given work. You can register your music for copyright protection through the Library of Congress which can be reached at 202-707-3000 or on the web at For information on bar codes, please visit
I received an e-mail that confirms I've been elected as an ASCAP member, but my song was released before I became a member. Will I still receive public performance royalties?
Whether or not you receive royalties for performances of your work(s) that occurred before you became an ASCAP member will depend upon when the performance(s) of the work(s) occurred. As a newly elected writer member, you can receive royalties for surveyed performances that took place in the performance period covered by the distribution quarter in which you are elected. For writers, there is a time lag of approximately seven (7) to eight (8) months between performances and royalty processing. As in the case of writers, a newly elected publisher member can receive royalties for surveyed performances that took place in the performance period covered in the distribution quarter in which the publisher is elected. For publishers, there is a time lag of approximately six (6) months between performance and royalty processing. Please note that ASCAP ONLY distributes public performance royalties, not royalties associated with record sales.
I completed my application online almost twenty (20) days ago. I haven't heard back from ASCAP. What should I do?
If you completed an online application, you should have received an e-mail from ASCAP within fifteen (15) days of submitting your application regardless of whether your election to ASCAP membership was successful. Please check your spam filter on your e-mail account. If you still cannot locate the e-mail, please contact Member Services at 800-95-ASCAP.
I remember receiving the e-mail that confirmed my election to ASCAP membership, but I can't find it now. How can I get my ASCAP Member ID?
If you were elected to ASCAP membership, Member Services can confirm your Member ID; however, you will be asked to verify your identity by providing your Social Security Number or TIN.
I received the e-mail that confirms that I've been elected as a member. Can I make an appointment to speak with an ASCAP representative?
Before speaking with an ASCAP representative, we recommend you review the Member Benefits and Career Development pages on the ASCAP website. The links take you to workshops, showcases and support opportunities that can help you further your career. If you still wish to speak with someone, please contact ASCAP at 800-95-ASCAP or at one of the local Membership offices listed on our website.
I need the phone number to a company in the music business and I believe ASCAP can provide it. Can I call you for the number?

Unfortunately, we cannot disclose phone numbers for specific companies unless they have agreed to allow us to do so. The following companies have agreed to allow us to provide their phone numbers to prospective or current members:

AFTRA (American Federation of TV & Radio Artists): 212 532-0800
Harry Fox Agency: 212-834-0100
Songwriter's Guild: 201-867-7603
Trademark Office: 800-786-9199
U.S. Copyright Office: 202-707-5959/877 476-0778
U.S. Library of Congress: 202-707-5000

What is "Concert" Music?
Examples of music classified as "Concert" are: symphonic, chamber, choral, concert band/wind ensemble, electro-accoustic and opera.
Do I need an e-mail address to activate a Member Access account?
Yes. An e-mail adress is required for Member Access.
How do I activate a Member Access account?
To activate your Member Access Account go to and click on the Account Activation link to get started.
I need a Member ID to activate my Member Access account, where can I find it?
Your Member ID is the number used by ASCAP to uniquely identify you. Your Member ID can be found on your ASCAP Membership Card, an ASCAP Royalty Statement or by calling 1-800-95-ASCAP
Is there a fee to activate a Member Access account?
There is no fee to sign up for Member Access; it's free for all ASCAP members.
Who can activate a Member Access account?
Any current or resigned Writer or Publisher member can activate a Member Access account.
Why should I activate a Member Access account?
Member Access allows 24x7 access to ASCAP. change your address, submit an inquiry to Member Services, review your catalog of works, and download your statement in PDF Format.
How do I change my Member Access password?
To change your password, enter your username on the Member Access login page and click the "I forgot my password" link.
I activated my Member Access account but forgot my username, how can I find out what it is?
If you forgot your username for Member Access, please call 1-800-95-ASCAP.
Are the transactions I perform and data I view secure in Member Access?
Yes, ASCAP Member Access is a secure web portal with 128-bit encyrption.
Does ASCAP share my information with outside entities?
As a policy, ASCAP does not share information about its members without their expressed consent. During the account activation process, you can opt in to allow ASCAP to share your information with outside entities.
My computer is a Mac. Can I use Member Access?
Yes, Member Access is compatable with Mac's as well as PC's.
Which internet browsers does ASCAP recommend when using Member Access?
Member Access works best with the latest versions of Firefox or Chrome.
I just joined ASCAP, why can't I activate my Member Access account?
Member Access is a member only portal. When you first join ASCAP, your membership is pending approval. Upon election to membership, you can activate your Member Access account.
I used to have an ASCAP membership card but I lost it. Can I get a replacement? 
ASCAP no longer offers membership cards. You can always find your ASCAP member ID by logging into Member Access.
In order to activate a Member Access account, I need to be an ASCAP member. How do I join?
To become an ASCAP member, please go to and follow the link to join.
What are direct and source licenses?

A direct license is any license agreement between an ASCAP member and a music user (for example, a radio station, TV network, website, live venue or background music service) granting the user the rights to perform publicly the member's music.

A source license is any license agreement between an ASCAP member and an entity that produces and supplies programs containing your music (for example, a TV production company), granting the right to authorize others (for example, a TV station) to perform publicly the member's music.

Do I have the right to license my works directly to others?
Yes. The rights you grant to ASCAP are nonexclusive. Nothing in your relationship with ASCAP restricts or interferes with your right to enter into a direct or source license.
What are my obligations to ASCAP if I enter into a direct or source license?

If you enter into a direct or source license, you must promptly notify ASCAP of:

  • The title of the work or works licensed.
  • The writer(s) and publisher(s) of the work(s).
  • The name and address of the licensee(s).
  • The time period for which the license will be in effect.
  • The territories, medium and venue covered by the license.

To properly notify ASCAP of a direct or source license, you must complete and submit the form titled "Notice of Direct/Source Licensing." This form is available for download and submission through Member Access. The Direct License Form can be downloaded from the Messages section of Member Access. Once in Messages, you can select Category: "Statement and Payment Questions" and Topic: "Direct Licensing – Domestic" or "Direct Licensing – International"

You should also attach to the Message a copy of the license (financial terms - such as the amount of the license fee - may be redacted).

What is the effect on my ASCAP royalties if I enter into a direct or source license?
As ASCAP cannot collect license fees for direct or source licensed performances, no royalties will be paid by ASCAP for these performances. If the direct or source license includes performances for periods for which ASCAP has already paid royalties because we were not aware that such a license had been issued, a debit will be made to your account with respect to such performances.
What should I consider if I am asked to enter into a direct or source license?

You should consider seeking the advice of a music attorney or business advisor before entering into a direct or source license.

You should attempt to obtain as much information as possible about when and how the music will be used and the license terms being offered to others. You may also wish to assess the importance of your specific works or catalog to the music user's business.

Keep in mind that while music users and program producers may offer up-front, lump-sum payments, it may be difficult to value or predict the future commercial success of your musical works.

There may also be instances in which a direct or source license might impact your ability to earn royalties from other music users. For example, if a TV or film producer acquires the performance rights to your music through an irrevocable license, or "buy-out" deal, you will not be able to receive public performance royalties when that show or film is sold or licensed to a downstream music user, or shown or broadcast in a foreign territory.

ASCAP cannot answer inquiries concerning payments for direct or source licensed performances.

ASCAP cannot audit the music user or program producer on your behalf.

ASCAP cannot make up the difference in performance royalties if your ASCAP royalties would have been greater than what you received under the direct or source license.

Although ASCAP cannot advise you on what terms you should seek in a direct or source license, ASCAP may be able to provide you with information on what you might earn in ASCAP royalties if we were to license those performances for you.

What if I am an ASCAP songwriter or composer and my music publisher enters into a direct or source license?
If your music publisher enters into a direct or source license, the music user or program producer may pay the publisher, not ASCAP, for performances of the licensed works. Your agreement with the publisher may determine whether you are entitled to a share of the royalties and whether or not any fees received by the publisher on your behalf are subject to recoupment. Typically, you reserve the right to receive the "writer's share" of your performance income directly from ASCAP. When a publisher licenses directly on your behalf, this may not be the case.
How do I log on to the Title Registration system for the first time?
To start using ASCAP's Title Registration system, sign in to Member Access and click "Register a Work" on the "My Catalog" tab.
Can you walk me through a registration?
Please visit the Work Registration FAQ for help on how to register your work or use the tooltips found throughout the form.
I want to register more titles, but I have forgotten my password. Should I start another account?
There is no need to start another account. Simply click the "Forgot Password?" link on the Member Access page and you can recover your password.
How do I revise the writers, publishers or shares on a title that I have already submitted?
You may only revise a work that you originally registered online yourself. To revise the entitled party or share information for a work, click "View/Edit an Existing Title" on the navigation bar. If the change(s) you submit instruct(s) ASCAP to delete an entitled party other than yourself or reduce the share of another entitled party, ASCAP may require signed correspondence from that party confirming the change.
I need specific changes made to a work in my catalog that I didn't register. How do I edit this work?
Changes to a work you did not register can be done through Member Access. Click “Messages,” and create a "New Message." Select the category “My Catalog” and the topic “Work Record Update.” You will be assigned an inquiry number and notified when the work has been updated.
I have both an ASCAP writer and publisher membership. Do I have to register titles twice?

No. Titles should only be registered once, and will automatically appear in the catalogs of each entitled party listed on the initial registration.

Please note: If your work is not self-published, we prefer that the work be registered only by the publisher representing your interest.

I co-wrote a piece of music, and my co-writer already registered it. Do I need to register it as well?

If your co-writer registered the work with ASCAP, there is no need to register the song again – though it is a good idea to check with your co-writer to ensure that he/she registered it properly.

If your co-writer belongs to a different PRO, you will also need to register your work with ASCAP before we can track it and get you paid.

I forgot my member number. Can you please send me my number?
Because of our privacy policy, we cannot provide your member code by e-mail. However, you can find your Member ID in your Member Access account, on an ASCAP royalty statement, or by calling Member Services at 1-800-95-ASCAP.
Assignment of an ASCAP Member's Royalties

ASCAP rules permit living members to assign some or all of his or her royalties in certain situations. Permitted assignments include (a) an assignment to repay an advance, loan or line or credit, (b) an assignment to a corporation or similar entity, at least 95% owned by one or more ASCAP writer member(s), (c) an assignment to a living trust, or (d) an assignment to a family member, non-profit, foundation, or charity. Given the unique needs of the estates of writer members, ASCAP also permits the estate to sell or irrevocably assign the right to receive ASCAP writer royalties.

All royalty assignments require a $75.00 processing fee.

If you are interested in assigning your royalties, you may request the required forms in ASCAP Member Access via Member Service Inquiry or by calling ASCAP’s Member Services department at 1-800-95ASCAP (1-800-952-7227). For more information about these assignments, see the Compendium of ASCAP Rules and Regulations, available on our Governing Documents page.

Check Cancellation and Replacement
All requests to cancel and replace outstanding checks must be made through ASCAP Member Access via Member Service inquiry (Category: 'My Royalties,’ Topic: ‘Cancel and Re-issue Distribution Check’). All check replacements incur a fee of $25.00 per check replaced. ASCAP is unable to stop payment on royalties that have been directly deposited into a bank account.
If there is a dispute between two or more parties as to entitlement to all or part of the credits and/or royalties for a work or membership and ASCAP concludes that there is a reasonable basis for the claim, ASCAP may hold royalties attributable to the disputed portion of such interests for as long as ASCAP deems appropriate. ASCAP will hold credits and/or royalties earned by works that are subject to litigation if specifically directed to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction. For more information about ASCAP’s policy regarding claims, see Section 2.8 of the Compendium of ASCAP Rules and Regulations, available on our Governing Documents page.
Marital Dissolution
ASCAP can issue a portion of your royalties directly to a former spouse as a result of a marital dissolution. You must complete ASCAP’s Marital Dissolution Notification form, which can be requested in ASCAP Member Access via Member Service Inquiry or by calling ASCAP’s Member Services department at 1-800-95ASCAP (1-800-952-7227). Note that in order to update ASCAP’s records pursuant to a marital dissolution a $250.00 processing fee is required.
Legal Process
If ASCAP is served with a federal or state levy, garnishment, restraining notice, judgment, child support order, or other process involving redirection of your royalties to a third party, ASCAP will notify you by First Class mail or e-mail prior to forwarding your royalties to the third party. ASCAP will deduct an administrative fee of $100.00 (or less, if required by law) from future royalties otherwise payable to you for each new process received. No fee is charged for processing a release of an active levy, garnishment, or other continuing order.
Unclaimed Funds and Property
ASCAP follows all state unclaimed property law and remits unclaimed royalties according to state requirements. Once royalties have been remitted to the state, ASCAP is unable to retrieve those royalties. For more information about ASCAP’s policy regarding unclaimed property, see Article XVII of ASCAP’s Articles of Association and Section 3.9 of the Compendium of ASCAP Rules and Regulations, available on our Governing Documents page.
What is Songview?

Songview is a data platform developed by ASCAP and BMI (Broadcast Music, Inc.), the nation’s two largest performance rights organizations (PROs), to provide the public with a comprehensive view of ownership shares for the vast majority of works licensed in the United States. With Songview integrated into our databases, ASCAP and BMI are able to display more detailed, authoritative and consistent copyright ownership data for performing rights for over 20 million songs in our combined repertories. The information is accessible on both the ASCAP and BMI websites for free. 

Why did ASCAP and BMI start the Songview project?
ASCAP and BMI have created Songview in order to make the music licensing process more transparent and more accessible for our partners. As the two largest US PROs with unparalleled expertise in building and managing complex copyright ownership databases, it made sense for ASCAP and BMI to collaborate on this project.
What went into building Songview?
The process of developing Songview was incredibly complex, given the size and scope of the project and the fact that ASCAP and BMI have been operating independently for more than 105 and 80 years, respectively. Consolidating the information of over 20 million musical works, representing hundreds of thousands of writers and publishers across two different technological platforms, required substantial resources and tens of thousands of development hours. An entirely new reconciliation system was built from the ground up.
How can I view works that have been reconciled by Songview on ASCAP’s website?

The ASCAP Repertory Search database allows users to search and filter works available in the ASCAP Repertory, as well as works reconciled by Songview that are in BMI’s repertoire (whether 100% controlled by BMI or jointly controlled by BMI with one or more societies other than ASCAP). A work is considered to be reconciled when ASCAP and BMI have identical information regarding the writers and publishers of the work, including the shares belonging to each of those writers and publishers. In addition, a work will only be considered reconciled if the total shares on the work equal 100%. Reconciled works will be identified by the Songview checkmark in the search results and individual work details in ASCAP Repertory Search.

How does Songview work?
The Songview platform ingests song ownership data from each PRO, processes and reconciles that data based on agreed-upon rules, and then sends the reconciled data back out to ASCAP’s and BMI’s searchable databases on our public websites.
What data on individual works is available through Songview?

Information featured in Songview on the ASCAP website includes:


  • Songwriters and publishers
  • Aggregated share splits controlled by ASCAP and BMI    
  • Performers
  • Alternate ASCAP song titles
  • ISWC and IPI codes
  • ASCAP Work IDs
  • ASCAP Publisher contact information


As always, users will be able to search by title, writer, publisher, performer, ASCAP work ID or ISWC, and download the same information as they have been able to do through the ACE database.

What does it mean when a work has been reconciled or displays the Songview checkmark?

When you see a Songview checkmark on a work, it means that both ASCAP and BMI have the same information regarding the songwriters, composers and publishers on a work, as well as the shares of the work belonging to each of the songwriters, composers and publishers. A work will have the Songview checkmark only if all of the share percentages for the work total 100%, or are +/- .06, which is the industry standard tolerance.

What works will be displayed when selecting the Songview tab on the ASCAP website or Songview button on the BMI site? 
The Songview display on each society’s website will provide the most comprehensive data in one place. It will show all reconciled works from the combined ASCAP and BMI repertories plus the remaining ASCAP repertory if you are on the ASCAP site, and the remaining BMI repertory if you are on the BMI site.
What works were not included in the current phase of Songview?
Background music and cues for film and television, which have a different registration process, are not currently included in Songview. Additionally, certain works that lack key detail needed for reconciliation, such as unique work or participant identifiers (ISWCs, IPIs, etc), are not included. These will be incorporated in later phases.
When will these works be added?
Songview is a system that will constantly evolve and update, and we are in the process of reviewing additional requirements needed to add these works. We will release new features and enhancements that will bring value to the market in the future. 
Can a work that is only controlled by ASCAP or only controlled by BMI have the Songview checkmark?

Yes. A work that is 100% controlled by ASCAP or 100% controlled by BMI will display a Songview checkmark if both ASCAP and BMI are in agreement regarding the ownership of the work.

Can a work have the Songview checkmark if it has writers or publishers controlled by a PRO other than ASCAP or BMI?

Yes, if both ASCAP and BMI have agreed on the information regarding the writers and original publishers on a work (whether they are ASCAP, BMI or with another PRO), as well as the shares of the work belonging to each of the writers and publishers, the work will have the Songview checkmark. However, ASCAP and BMI are not able to confirm ownership shares for writers or publishers affiliated with PROs other than ASCAP or BMI.

When a work has the Songview checkmark does that mean that ASCAP or BMI collect for all writers/publishers on that work?

No. All parties that have interests in a work are still paid by the PRO that licenses their interests in that work.

What does it mean if a particular work is not reconciled by Songview?
Both ASCAP and BMI are committed to reconciling the ownership data for as many works as possible and are continuing to work toward that goal.

The two most common reasons why a song may not immediately reconcile include:

  • The total share percentage made available by ASCAP and BMI to Songview does not add up to 100% (or is within the industry share tolerance of + or - .06%).  This can happen either when copyright owners have not provided the required writer/publisher and share information to ASCAP or BMI, or when information that has been provided is in conflict.
  • Songview is unable to reconcile a work because it is missing certain identifiers, such as IPIs and ISWCs, that help the societies match works across their respective databases.
How accurate is the information in Songview?

Ensuring the utmost integrity of our data has always been our highest priority, regardless of platform. That data is obtained from rights holders, who, as royalty recipients, have every incentive to provide reliable data. Both ASCAP and BMI employ multiple procedures to verify that song data is accurate and up to date. The Songview reconciliation process is another way to ensure accuracy.

Why does the data sometimes look different on each site?
Copyright ownership by its nature is dynamic and changes on a daily basis, and new music is being created every day. Together, ASCAP and BMI receive tens of thousands of new copyright registrations every day. Due to differences in processing routines and other factors, it could take a few days for the Songview status to sync with and update ASCAP’s and BMI’s websites.
What happens when a work is revised?

If a work that has the Songview checkmark is revised because of a change in ownership information in either ASCAP’s or BMI’s copyright system, then the checkmark will be removed while the updates go through the Songview reconciliation process again. When and if the revised ownership information for the work is agreed upon in both ASCAP’s and BMI’s systems, then the Songview checkmark will be restored.

Why is there contact information for some publishers but not others?

ASCAP and BMI each display contact information only for their own respective publisher members/affiliates.

Why does Songview look different on the ASCAP and BMI websites?
While the presentation of the data may look different on each PRO's website, the information about writers, publishers and aggregated share splits controlled by ASCAP and BMI on reconciled works is the same. While there may be a difference in what’s displayed in terms of performers and alternate titles, this is because we are constantly receiving new data and incorporating it on a daily basis. Each PRO has made the decision to present the data in a way that is consistent with our individual repertory displays.
Why does my ASCAP registration have a BMI Work ID in Member Access?

The Songview system matches the work pictures between ASCAP and BMI and creates a combined work picture. The BMI work ID is added to an ASCAP work as part of this combined work picture that both societies have agreed represents the accurate data related to the work.

Why does Songview allow BMI to register my works with ASCAP?

The Songview system does not register works. Your songs are registered via the original source where you normally register works.

What is ASCAP OnStage and how does it work?
OnStage allows writer members receiving royalties via direct deposit to notify ASCAP of their live performances via Member Access. This data is processed and a royalty is distributed to the writers and publishers of the songs based upon the license fee paid by the respective venue. ASCAP OnStage is not a platform for reporting classical events, i.e., performances in the Symphonic, Recital and Educational fields. To report a Symphonic, Recital or Educational performance please visit the following link: Performance Notification
Do all members of a band need to submit a performance claim?
No. Only one writer needs to submit a performance claim via OnStage to ensure all writers and publishers on the title registration receive a royalty. All writers can view submitted performance claims in their Member Access account.
When will I receive royalties for performances submitted via OnStage?
Each performance claim will be paid during the corresponding domestic performance distribution. If you are unsure when we make our domestic distributions, please view our Distribution Schedule.
How do I add works to my setlist that are not currently listed in My Catalog?
You can register any missing works through your Member Access account. Confirm that your music has been properly registered by revisiting your catalog in Member Access. It may take up to seven days to process a new registration.
When should I submit a performance via OnStage? Is there a deadline?

You can submit a claim via OnStage right after you perform live, but there is a deadline:

January 1 to March 31 June 30
April 1 to June 30 September 30
July 1 to September 30 December 31
October 1 to December 31 March 31 (following year)

If you miss the deadline, we will not be able to process your claim. Make OnStage a regular part of your post-show routine!

Are all performances eligible for processing by OnStage?

ASCAP OnStage is not a platform for reporting classical events, i.e., performances in the symphonic, recital or educational fields. To report a symphonic, recital or educational performance, visit the following link: Performance Notification

ASCAP must be able to license the performance or the claim will be declined. Most performances not a part of the Symphonic, Recital or Educational survey are eligible for processing by OnStage, but some are not based upon US copyright law (as described within 17 USC § 110), generally including non-licensable performances such as:

• Musical theatre

• Teaching activities

• Religious services

• Livestock and agricultural exhibits

• Government-sponsored events

• Private parties

• Non-permitted events

Can I submit a claim if I am only the publisher of a work?
All OnStage claims must be submitted by writers of the performed works.
How much will I make for my live performance?
The royalty generated by a live performance is based upon the license fee paid by the venue. As venues with larger capacities pay a larger license fee to ASCAP, the royalty generated by these venues will be larger than venues with smaller capacities.
Will my ASCAP statement include performances submitted via OnStage?
Yes, and specific details of the performance will remain available in Member Access for future reference.
Who will receive royalties from my OnStage claim?
All ASCAP writers and publishers who are properly listed on the title registration will receive a royalty.
I made a mistake on my claim. How can I edit it?
A claim can be withdrawn and edited in Member Access as long as it is still within the same Distribution period.
I am a foreign affiliate, but license works through ASCAP. How can I participate in OnStage?
A claim must be submitted to your respective society per their specific procedures. Each foreign society will then forward the information to ASCAP for processing as part of our International Awards program.
I "covered" a popular song at my performance. Should I include it in my OnStage claim?
Yes, as it ensures ASCAP receives a record of all music performed.
Which genres can submit to OnStage?
OnStage is not for any specific genre. Any writer members who perform their songs live can submit eligible performance claims through OnStage. However, ASCAP OnStage is not a platform for reporting classical events, i.e., performances in the Symphonic, Recital and Educational fields. To report a Symphonic, Recital or Educational performance please visit the following link: Performance Notification
Is ASCAP OnStage the same as ASCAP Plus Awards?
ASCAP Plus Awards is not related to ASCAP OnStage. If you are a writer member who performs live, you should submit those performance claims through OnStage.
Copyright Generally

A copyright owner has a number of different exclusive rights contained within a single copyright (often referred to as a “bundle of rights”). One of those exclusive rights is the ‘Performance Right’ or the right to “perform the copyrighted work publicly.” See the U.S. Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C § 106(4). ASCAP licenses the non-dramatic public performance right of its members’ works to music users for a fee and distributes the license fees received as royalties to ASCAP members.

For more information about music licensing, please visit our Licensing FAQ. For more information about copyright, please visit the U.S. Copyright Office’s website at If you have any questions or concerns about your copyrights, you should consult an experienced attorney.


Compositions receive federal copyright protection as soon as they are fixed in a tangible medium, which is most often achieved upon writing or recording the work, but registering your works with the Copyright Office provides you with certain benefits under the law. ASCAP does not register works with the Copyright Office and submitting your work to ASCAP for registration with ASCAP is not an alternative to Copyright Office Registration.

ASCAP members are solely responsible for all issues relating to copyright, including registration, renewal, and termination. For more information about copyright registration and other copyright issues, please visit The U.S. Copyright Office’s website at If you have any questions or concerns about your copyrights, you should consult an experienced attorney.


Copyrights do not have an unlimited duration. Works created on or after January 1, 1978 (or created but unpublished before 1978) have a single copyright term that extends, in most cases, for the life of the author plus 70 years (or in the case of co-written songs, plus 70 years from the last surviving author’s death). These works do not require renewal to exercise the full life of the copyright.

The concept of renewals affects only "pre-1978" works (i.e. works in copyright before January 1, 1978). For any of these works, the copyright term is divided into two terms: (1) an initial term of 28 years following the earlier of the work's (a) creation and publication with notice or (b) registration, and then (2) a renewal term of an additional 67 years. Because more than 28 years have passed since December 31, 1977 (the last day before the effective date of the "new" Copyright Act), all pre-1978 works that are still in copyright are now in their renewal terms. In order to obtain the renewal term for pre-1978 works, filing a renewal registration with the Copyright Office may be necessary. Generally, only works copyrighted prior to January 1, 1964 require renewal registration with the Copyright Office.

The renewal belongs generally to the writer. However, if a writer enters into an agreement assigning the renewal term and the writer is still alive when the renewal is to become effective, the copyright in the renewal term will belong to the assignee (e.g., the publisher). However, if the writer in such case dies prior to the renewal, then the copyright law grants to certain surviving heirs the right to claim the renewal term despite the writer’s previous agreement.

ASCAP does not file copyright renewals on behalf of its members. For more information about duration, renewal and other copyright issues, please visit If you have any questions or concerns about your copyrights, you should consult an experienced attorney.


Congress provided a means for recapturing the extended term where rights had been assigned or licensed to third parties. Specifically, if a writer or one of a writer's statutory heirs entered into an agreement assigning or licensing a renewal copyright before January 1, 1978, whatever rights were granted could be recaptured for the duration of the renewal term. (Note that the only grants subject to this form of recapture are those made by the writer or a statutory heir while living, not any grants made by will.) If the writer is still alive, the writer may exercise the recapture himself. If the writer has died, the recapture may be exercised by the writer's surviving spouse and children (including grandchildren by a predeceased child), or, if there are none, by the writer's executor or administrator. The recapture provision applies only to works in copyright before 1978 and are not works made for hire.

The recapture must be exercised by following a specified notification procedure during the 5-year period beginning 56 years from the date copyright was originally secured, or beginning January 1, 1978, whichever is later. If a termination notice was not effectuated during that 5-year window, a second termination option exists to reclaim the final 20 years of the renewal term (added under the 1998 Sonny Bono Copyright term Extension Act). This second option for recapture must be exercised during 5-year period beginning 75 years after copyright was originally secured.

ASCAP does not effectuate recapture copyrights on behalf of our members. For more information about renewals and other copyright issues, please visit the U.S. Copyright Office’s website at If you have any questions or concerns about your copyrights, you should consult an experienced attorney.


The Copyright Act affords a writer the opportunity to terminate any transfer or license of works made by the writer on or after January 1, 1978. This right of termination applies only to agreements that a writer has made during his or her lifetime and not to any copyright grant contained in the writer's Will.

The right can be exercised by the writer him or herself or, if the writer has died, by the writer's surviving spouse and children (including grandchildren by a predeceased child). If the writer is not survived by any spouse, child, or grandchild, the right to terminate the grant passes to the writer's executor or administrator. The result in all cases is to recover all rights that the writer had granted, regardless of any agreement about the work to the contrary.

Termination can take effect only during the 5-year period beginning 35 years after the date of the grant, but a notice is required to initiate the termination. This notice must be sent between 2 to 10 years before the effective date of the termination and recorded with the Copyright Office. Because this termination right applies only to grants related to works made on or after January 1, 1978, the year 2003 is the first year that termination notices could have been sent, and 2013 is the first year that any will take effect.

When planning for the disposition of the copyright in a work that the writer has previously transferred or licensed, keep in mind the possibility that the grant may be terminated and the rights recovered.

In order to process a member's request to update a work records pursuant to a termination, ASCAP requires:

• Correspondence from the claiming publisher describing the request, along with instruction as to the ASCAP publisher member that is to receive the reclaimed interest received by ASCAP no earlier than one quarter in advance of the effective date;

• A copy of the Notice of Termination as served on the original grantee, which should include a list of works claimed, along with evidence of recordation with the Copyright Office. (Note: Evidence of submission of the Notice of Termination to the Copyright Office is sufficient, we do not need to see evidence of completed recordation)

Cover letters and copies of notices should be submitted in ASCAP Member Access via Member Service Inquiry (Category: 'My Catalog', Topic: 'Copyright Claims - Reclamation of Post-1978 Works'). Please note that ASCAP can accept claims no more than one quarter in advance of the effective date.

Be advised that ASCAP will not make a determination of the sufficiency of the request, but will provide a copy of the Notice of Termination to the original grantee to confirm the termination before updating our records.

ASCAP does not terminate transfers of copyrights on behalf of our members. For more information about terminations and other copyright issues, please visit If you have any questions or concerns about termination or your copyrights, you should consult an experienced attorney.

Do I need an ASCAP license?

ASCAP licenses the public performances of its members' musical works. A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or social acquaintances). A public performance is also one that is transmitted to the public, for example, radio or TV broadcasts, and via the Internet.

ASCAP's customer licensees include: Airlines, Amusement Parks, Bars, Restaurants & Nightclubs, Colleges & Universities, Concert Presenters, Music Venues & Clubs, Convention & Trade Shows, Fitness Clubs, Hotels, Local Government Entities, Radio & Television Stations and Networks, Mobile Entertainment, Websites, Retail Stores and music users in a wide variety of other industries. See the complete list of ASCAP license types on this website. There are over 100 different ASCAP rate schedules covering almost all businesses that perform music.

ASCAP does not license "dramatic" or "grand" rights, or dramatic performances. ASCAP members who write musical plays, operas, or ballet scores deal directly with those who want to perform our members' works "dramatically." While ASCAP does not license "dramatic" or "grand" rights, or dramatic performances of its members' music, an ASCAP license does authorize nondramatic performances of songs from dramatic productions. For more information on "dramatic" or "grand" rights and the distinction between dramatic and nondramatic performances, click here.

ASCAP does not license the right to record music on a CD, tape, or as part of an audio-visual work such as a motion picture, video or TV program. Those rights, known as mechanical and synchronization ("synch") rights, are licensed by writers or publishers.

ASCAP does not license the right to print copies of musical works nor does it license rights to make adaptations or arrangements.

ASCAP does not license rights for recording artists, musicians, singers or record labels. However, artists/musicians who are songwriters can become ASCAP members. ASCAP licenses the performance rights for the music of its members.

Why should I pay for playing music in public?
We often use the expression "they're playing my song," not always remembering that while we may have emotionally adopted the song, it still legally belongs to the songwriter who created it, and the music publisher who markets it. When you use other people's property, you need to ask permission
What is a public performance?
A public performance is one that occurs either in a public place or any place where people gather (other than a small circle of a family or its social acquaintances). A public performance is also one that is transmitted to the public; for example, radio or television broadcasts, music-on-hold, cable television, and by the internet. Generally, those who publicly perform music obtain permission from the owner of the music or his representative. However, there are a few limited exceptions, (called "exemptions") to this rule. Permission is not required for music played or sung as part of a worship service unless that service is transmitted beyond where it takes place (for example, a radio or television broadcast). Performances as part of face to face teaching activity at a non-profit educational institutions are also exempt. We recommend that you contact your local ASCAP representative who can discuss your needs and how ASCAP can help you.
What does the ASCAP license do?
ASCAP gives you a license to entertain your customers, guests and employees with the world's largest musical repertory. One of the greatest advantages of the ASCAP license is that it gives you the right to perform ANY or ALL of the millions of the musical works in our repertory. Whether your music is live, broadcast, transmitted or played via CD's or videos, your ASCAP license covers your performances. And with one license fee, ASCAP saves you the time, expense, and burden of contacting thousands of copyright owners.
I bought the record or sheet music. Why do I need permission to perform the music?
Copyright owners enjoy a number of different rights including performance rights, print rights and recording rights. Rental or purchase of sheet music or the purchase of a record does not authorize its public performance.
I want to record or videotape a song or record. Do I need permission, and how do I obtain it?

If you want to make copies of, or re-record an existing record, tape or CD, you will probably need the permission of both the music publisher and the record label. A music publisher owns the song (that is, the words and music) and a record company owns the "sound recording" (that is, what you hear... the artist singing, the musicians playing, the entire production).

If you plan to hire your own musicians and singers and create an original recording of a copyrighted song, then you need the permission of only the music publisher.

ASCAP does not license recording rights. Recording rights for most publishers are represented by the Harry Fox Agency:

Harry Fox Agency, Inc.
711 Third Avenue
New York, N.Y. 10017
Tel: (212) 370-5330
Fax: (212) 953-2384

The name and address of the record company should appear on the record label. The Recording Industry Association of America, a trade organization for record labels, can provide you with more information on the rights of record labels.

Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
1020 19th St. NW, Suite 200
Washington, D.C. 20036
Tel: (202) 775-0101
Fax: (202) 775-7253

Where does the money go?
Quite simply, to our members. All the fees we collect are distributed as royalties, after deducting operating expenses (currently 11.3%).
What songs are in the ASCAP repertory and who are your members?
Check out ACE (ASCAP Clearance Express), ASCAP's searchable database of performed works, along with writer, publisher and recording artist information.
I'm interested in playing music in my restaurant or other business. I know that I need permission for live performances. Do I need permission if I am using only CD's, records, tapes, radio or TV?
Yes, you will need permission to play records or tapes in your establishment. Permission for radio and television transmissions in your business is not needed if the performance is by means of public communication of TV or radio transmissions by eating, drinking, retail or certain other establishments of a certain size which use a limited number of speakers or TVs, and if the reception is not further transmitted (for example, from one room to another) from the place in which it is received, and there is no admission charge. Your local ASCAP licensing manager can discuss your needs and advise how ASCAP can help you.
How much will it cost to obtain an ASCAP license to perform music?

The annual rate depends on the type of business. Generally, rates are based on the manner in which music is performed (live, recorded or audio only or audio/visual) and the size of the establishment or potential audience for the music. For example, rates for restaurants, nightclubs, bars and similar establishments depend on whether the music is live or recorded, whether it's audio only or audio visual, the number of nights per week music is offered, whether admission is charged and several other factors.

Concert rates are based on the ticket revenue and seating capacity of the facility. Rates for music used by corporations ("Music In Business") are based upon the number of employees. College and university rates are based upon the number of full time students; retail store rates depend on the number of speakers and square footage. Hotel rates are based on a percentage of entertainment expenses for live music and an additional charge if recorded music is used.

Because ASCAP has over a hundred different licenses and rate schedules, one will likely fit your needs. ASCAP operates under the principle that similarly situated users should be treated similarly. This assures fairness and consistency in our licensing. For example, rates for restaurants of the same size, with the same use of music are the same regardless of whether the restaurant is in Oshkosh or New York City.

I want to use music-on-hold in my business. Do I need permission?
Yes. When you place a caller on hold and transmit music via your telephone lines, that is a public performance of the music. It is your responsibility to obtain permission to perform ASCAP songs from ASCAP or directly from the copyright owner. ASCAP represents tens of thousands of copyright owners and millions of songs and an ASCAP license will give you the right to perform them all.
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.
Aren't musicians, entertainers and DJ's responsible for obtaining permission for music they perform?
Some people mistakenly assume that musicians and entertainers must obtain licenses to perform copyrighted music or that businesses where music is performed can shift their responsibility to musicians or entertainers. The law says all who participate in, or are responsible for, performances of music are legally responsible. Since it is the business owner who obtains the ultimate benefit from the performance, it is the business owner who obtains the license. Music license fees are one of the many costs of doing business.
How do I obtain a license for a Jukebox?

Licenses for jukeboxes are available through the Jukebox License Office. The JLO makes it convenient and economical for you to obtain the permission you need for your jukebox by serving as a "clearinghouse" that provides authorization to perform virtually every copyrighted song in the United States and much of the world.

The JLO is a joint venture of the United States performing rights organizations, ASCAP, BMI and SESAC. The JLO offers a license which provides total access to all songs in the ASCAP, BMI and SESAC repertories. The Jukebox License Agreement is a single, economical, annual license that provides the authorization required to publicly perform copyrighted songs on a jukebox. Jukeboxes that are licensed by the JLO, must display a certificate in the title strip holder of each jukebox. If you see a jukebox without a certificate, please complete and return the Tips card or email the name and address of the location and name of jukebox operator (if known) to

Establishments where music is performed by some means other than the jukebox (DJ's, bands, tapes, etc.), still need a separate license from ASCAP (or the individual copyright owners) covering these other performances. The Jukebox License Agreement only provides authorization for jukebox performances.

The jukebox, or "coin-operated phonorecord player," qualifies for the Jukebox License Agreement if it is a machine or device that:

  • is used solely for non-dramatic public performances of music; and
  • is operated by coins, tokens, currency or the like; and
  • is operated by patrons of the establishment (not employees), who make their selections from a list of titles; and
  • is located in an establishment making no direct or indirect charge for admission.

If your jukebox fails to meet any of these criteria, it does not qualify as a "coin-operated phonorecord player" under the Copyright law and performances on that jukebox cannot be licensed through the JLO.

Please contact the JLO with any other questions you may have or to obtain a jukebox license.

Jukebox License Office
2 Music Square W
Nashville, TN 37203

How do I know what songs are represented by ASCAP?
A list of performed works is available on the ASCAP Clearance Express on our Website. For addition information on ASCAP's members, the variety of music in the ASCAP repertory, and the resources available to those seeking more information on ASCAP's members and the ASCAP repertory, click here.
What are the exemptions for the reception of radio and television performances in eating and drinking establishments and retail establishments?

Section 110(5)(B) provides a limited exemption for certain performances of music in food service, drinking and retail establishments by means of radio and television transmissions. 

The exemption applies only to performances of music originated by a broadcast radio or television station or a cable system or satellite carrier, only if no direct charge is made to see or hear the performances, only if the performances are not further transmitted beyond the establishment where they are received, and only if the original transmission is licensed by the copyright owners -- that is, the radio or television station, cable system or satellite carrier is licensed by the copyright owners or their performing rights organizations. 

The exemption contains objective standards which will enable both music users and copyright owners to determine whether particular radio and television performances are exempt from copyright liability. Two types of music users are exempt, under different standards: a food service or drinking establishment (defined as "a restaurant, inn, bar, tavern, or any other similar place of business in which the public or patrons assemble for the primary purpose of being served food or drink, in which the majority of the gross square feet of space that is nonresidential is used for that purpose, and in which nondramatic musical works are performed publicly") and an other establishment (defined as "a store, shop, or any similar place of business open to the general public for the primary purpose of selling goods or services in which the majority of the gross square feet of space that is nonresidential is used for that purpose, and in which nondramatic musical works are performed publicly").

A food service or drinking establishment is eligible for the exemption if it (1) has less than 3750 gross square feet of space (in measuring the space, the amount of space used for customer parking only is always excludable); or (2) has 3750 gross square feet of space or more and (a) uses no more than 6 loudspeakers of which not more than 4 loudspeakers are located in any 1 room or adjoining outdoor space; and (b) if television sets are used, there are no more than 4 televisions, of which not more than 1 is located in any 1 room and none has a diagonal screen size greater than 55 inches. 

An other establishment (e.g., a retail store) is eligible for the exemption if it (1) has less than 2000 gross square feet of space; or (2) has 2000 or more gross square feet of space and satisfies the same loudspeaker and television set requirements as for food service or drinking establishments. 

Of course, this exemption is limited to those radio or television performances; the law requires that public performances of copyrighted music by other means such as live music, karaoke, CDs, MP3 and digital files, background music services and DVDs require permission obtained either from the copyright owners or from their performing rights licensing organizations.

What doesn't the ASCAP Radio License do?

The ASCAP radio license does not provide the right to authorize retransmissions of broadcasts of ASCAP music over loudspeakers in stores, restaurants or other locations open to the public, or by means of music-on-hold systems.

The ASCAP license does not provide the right to record copyrighted music, or change the lyric of a copyrighted work and use it in a commercial jingle or station promotion. These are known as "mechanical" or "recording" and "synchronization" rights and you should deal directly with the copyright owners for permission to record music or change a song. You may also want to contact the Harry Fox Agency at (212) 834-0100.

What does the ASCAP Radio License give you?
  • Access to every variety of music you need to attract and entertain your viewers.
  • The immediate right to perform great new music written or published by our members.
  • Access to perform music in the repertories of similar foreign performing rights organizations in nearly every country around the world where copyright law exists.
  • The right to perform music in commercials and jingles.
  • An indemnity if a claim for infringement is made against you, your staff or your advertisers based on the performance of our member's works.
How are radio fees determined?

ASCAP's license fees for radio are the product of negotiations between ASCAP and prominent radio broadcasters, principally members of an industry-wide committee, the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC). All of the RMLC members are broadcasters, and represent the entire spectrum of the radio industry. While a court is available to determine fees if necessary, over the years ASCAP and the committee have always been able to agree on license fees and terms.

What is the term of the radio license?

ASCAP and the current RMLC-negotiated license agreements cover the period January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2016.

ASCAP and the Radio Music License Committee (RMLC) have concluded negotiations on a new industry-wide license agreement ("2010 Radio Station License Agreement") that covers the period January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2016. This Agreement was also approved by the ASCAP Rate Court on Friday, January 27, 2012. The Agreement, which has ended the previous federal Rate Court litigation, provides for a return to a revenue-based fee structure, and expanded coverage to accommodate the radio industry's evolving distribution platforms: Internet websites, smart phones, and other wireless devices ("new media uses"), and HD/Multicasting radio channels.

The agreement provides that interim fees paid during 2010 and 2011 are now final, subject to $75 million in credits attributable to those years. These credits will be allocated to stations in annual $15 million installments from 2012 through 2016. For the years 2012 through 2016, stations electing to operate under a blanket license will pay 1.7% of gross revenue less a standard deduction of 12% for terrestrial analog and HD/multicasting broadcasts and a 25% standard deduction for new media uses. Stations operating under a per program, or "program period," license and that have no performances of feature ASCAP music will pay a fee of 0.2958% of gross revenue less the same standard deductions. Supplemental fees for program-period stations will be consistent with those required under the 2004-2009 license agreement.

If my radio station is licensed under this Agreement, how will I report my 2012 license fees in 2013?

Your annual license fee reports must be submitted electronically and ASCAP and the RMLC are working together to provide stations with a simple method of reporting that will be available to all licensed stations in 2013.

What does the ASCAP Television License give you?
  • Access to every variety of music you need to attract and entertain your viewers.
  • The immediate right to perform great new music written or published by our members.
  • The right to perform music in the repertories of more than 90 affiliated foreign societies.
  • The right to perform music in commercials and jingles.
  • An indemnity if a claim for infringement is made against you, your staff or your advertisers based on the performance of our members' works.
What doesn't the ASCAP Television License do?
The ASCAP television license does not provide the right to authorize retransmissions of broadcasts of ASCAP music over televisions and loudspeakers in stores, restaurants or other locations open to the public, or by means of music-on-hold systems. To learn more about ASCAP's other license agreements for these types of uses, please see General Licensing.

The ASCAP license does not provide the right to record copyrighted music, or change the lyric of a copyrighted work and use it in a commercial jingle or station promotional announcement. These are known as "mechanical" and "synchronization" rights and you should deal directly with the copyright owners for permission to record music or change a song. Contact information for specific works in the ASCAP repertory can be found on the ASCAP website, You may also want to contact the Harry Fox Agency at (212) 370-5330.
How are the networks and PBS licensed?
Each of the networks have negotiated blanket license agreements with ASCAP.
How are local television stations licensed?
Currently, commercial local television stations may choose between two license types - Blanket or Per Program. Both licenses give the station full access to the ASCAP repertory. However, the Per Program License requires the licensee to report to us the music content of all of its local and syndicated programs (i.e., non-network programs) on a monthly basis, and the fee is based in part on that report.
What is the status of the current ASCAP - TMLC Local Commercial TV Station Agreement?
On Thursday, August 9, 2012, U.S. District Judge Denise Cote approved the agreement reached between ASCAP and the Television Music License Committee (TMLC) on a new industry-wide license agreements covering the period January 1, 2010 - December 31, 2016 ("LOCAL STATION BLANKET TELEVISION LICENSE AGREEMENT" and "LOCAL STATION PER PROGRAM TELEVISION LICENSE AGREEMENT"). The parties' agreement ends the pending Rate Court litigation and provides coverage for all broadcasts by local stations, including both primary channel broadcasts and those made on secondary digital channels, and for all audio-visual content streamed on station-affiliated websites, or delivered as part of programming supplied by stations via mobile, wireless and any other digital platforms, so long as each entity involved in the transmission or retransmission of such programming other than the licensed station has an economic relationship to the licensed station.

The new agreements are being provided to all eligible stations that are either represented by the TMLC or have agreed to be bound by the terms of the ASCAP/TMLC agreement. The principal features of the new license agreement are set forth below, with links to the new license agreement and Judge Cote's Final Order.
How are Blanket fees for local commercial TV stations calculated?
An industry-wide flat dollar annual fee has been negotiated between ASCAP and the Television Music License Committee ("TMLC"), which is made up of representatives from local television stations. The industrywide blanket fees for the period 2012 to 2016 agreed to with the TMLC are as follows: $91.5 million for each year 2012 to 2014, and $92.0 million for 2015 and 2016.The industrywide fee is then allocated among individual stations, in accordance with a methodology devised by the Committee (and approved by a federal court) to produce each station's annual blanket license fee.

There are two steps to the TMLC's allocation formula. First, the industrywide fee is divided among all the television or "ADI " (Areas of Dominant Influence) markets across the country. For example, Omaha is a market; Dallas-Fort Worth is a market. The share of the total for each market is weighted according to size. The Dallas-Fort Worth market is weighted higher than Omaha, for instance, because Dallas-Fort Worth has more viewers. The result is that total fees paid by all of the stations in the Dallas market are greater than total fees paid by all of the stations in the Omaha market.

Once the total fee for a market has been calculated, it is allocated to the individual stations in that market. This allocation is based on verified household ratings: i.e., how many people watch each station. A highly rated station in a market will therefore pay a greater fee than a station with a low rating. And, overall, a highly rated station in a large market will have a higher blanket fee than a highly rated station in a small market.

How is the Per Program fee for local commercial TV stations different from the Blanket fee?
All stations electing the Per Program license use their allocated blanket fee as a part of the calculation of their monthly Per Program fee. Each per program licensee must report electronically the music content and the advertising revenue associated with each of its local and syndicated programs on a monthly basis. The station's monthly per program fee is determined in part by the usage of ASCAP music in those programs and the amount of revenue generated by those programs for the station. The per program fee also includes an "incidental use" component. For the license term commencing January 1, 2012, per program license fees will be determined by application of a multiplier of 1.45 to a station's revenue subject to fee.
Can a local commercial TV station switch from one license to the other?
Eligible stations can switch license types twice in a calendar year, so the numbers vary from month to month.
What reporting requirements are there for blanket licensees?
None. Stations operating under the blanket license do not have to submit reports to ASCAP in order to determine their fee because the fee is not based upon actual usage of ASCAP music.
How do I know which of the two licenses is right for my station?
Call an ASCAP broadcast licensing representative toll free at 1-800-99-ASCAP. We will be happy to explain in greater detail the options available to you. Each station should choose the license most advantageous for its needs.
Will there be any other form of license available to local television stations?
ASCAP and the TMLC have also agreed that beginning in 2015, commercial local television stations will be able to opt for an "adjustable fee blanket license." The AFBL will adjust a station's blanket license fee to reflect the extent to which a station licenses ASCAP works either directly with the publisher and/or composer, or through a source license negotiated with the program producer. ASCAP and the TMLC will be negotiating the terms and conditions of the AFBL, the details of which will be provided once agreement is reached.
Why does an Internet or digital wireless site or service need an ASCAP license?
The U.S. copyright law requires those that publicly perform copyrighted music -- including websites and other digital services that transmit music to the public -- to first obtain a license from the copyright owners of the songs performed. Just as you need permission to use other forms of property, you must also receive permission to use the musical property owned by the more than 550,000 songwriter, composer and publisher members of ASCAP. While you may receive permission directly from each copyright owner, ASCAP’s members have authorized ASCAP to license their musical works on their behalf. A single ASCAP license thereby gives you the legal right to perform through your site or digital service the entire ASCAP repertory.
What benefits does an ASCAP license provide?
A single ASCAP license provides your Internet site or digital wireless service public performance rights to the entire ASCAP repertory of songs from its more than 550,000 members, eliminating the need to obtain separate performance licenses from each individual copyright owner. An ASCAP license also gives you the right to perform on your site or service the repertories of nearly 100 affiliated foreign performing rights organizations from around the world.
Who else is licensed by ASCAP?
ASCAP licenses public performances of its musical works repertory made by dozens of different types of businesses including radio stations, television stations and networks, concert promoters, restaurants and dance clubs, hotels, retail stores and background music services.
What kind of music does ASCAP license?
The ASCAP repertory contains music of every form and style including rock, pop, country, gospel, Broadway show music, film and television music, jazz, Latin, big band, soul, symphony and concert music. If you want to know if a particular work is in the ASCAP repertory (identified by title, and the name of the writer, publisher or well-known recording artist), you may access ACE, ASCAP’s extensive, online database of ASCAP works, at
What does an ASCAP New Media license cover?
An ASCAP license authorizes the public performance of the entire ASCAP repertory and the repertories of over 90 foreign societies from around the world by means of Internet and wireless digital transmissions.
Is an ASCAP license all I need to use music lawfully on my website or digital service?
An ASCAP New Media license does not authorize the public performance of the repertories of other U.S. performing rights societies (such as SESAC or BMI or GMR). Nor does it authorize the reproduction and/or distribution of musical works; and/or the performance, reproduction and/or distribution of sound recordings. Each of these uses requires separate authorizations from the respective copyright owners or licensing representative. For example, to obtain a mechanical or synchronization license for the reproduction and/or distribution of musical compositions, please contact the appropriate music publishers and/or the Harry Fox Agency. To obtain authorization to perform or reproduce sound recordings, please contact SoundExchange or the record company associated with each particular recording.
What is the "digital performance of a sound recording?" Does ASCAP license that as well?
Sound recordings and their underlying songs are each protected by separate copyrights. In 1995, U.S. law provided copyright owners of sound recordings, for the first time, with their own separate public performance right, limited to performances made in the course of digital transmissions such as streaming by Internet sites and services and transmissions by digital radio services. ASCAP does not license digital public performances of sound recordings; ASCAP only licenses the public performances of the underlying song or composition. For more information regarding licensing of sound recordings please consult an attorney and/or the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
What if I intend to make only one song available? Does ASCAP offer song-by-song licensing?
ASCAP does not grant licenses to perform individual songs in its repertory. Rather, ASCAP offers blanket licenses that authorize the public performance of the entire ASCAP repertory. If you seek authorization to perform publicly a specific song or group of songs, please contact each of the music publisher(s) for each song. Please utilize the ACE database tool for ASCAP song information assistance.
Does ASCAP license digital sites or services that are located outside the U.S?
ASCAP licenses the public performance of ASCAP works occurring within the United States, its territories, dependencies, possessions and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (“ASCAP Territory”). If your service is located and performing music elsewhere, please contact the performing rights organization in the relevant territory(ies) to obtain the necessary licensing. If your service is located outside of the ASCAP Territory but you believe you are performing within the ASCAP Territory, for example, by streaming through servers or having headquarters located in ASCAP Territory, please contact ASCAP by sending an email to
Do I need an ASCAP license if I stream content containing ASCAP music via a third-party media player, such as a YouTube or Soundcloud?
Public performances of ASCAP music via most third-party players are licensed through arrangements between the third parties and ASCAP and, therefore, sites or services utilizing such players do not require additional licensing by ASCAP. If you are unsure whether the player you use is already licensed by ASCAP and/or if your site or service is performing ASCAP music through other means, please contact ASCAP by sending an email to
Do I need an ASCAP license if I stream through Streamlicensing?
If you are a Streamlicensing customer, your internet only radio station requires an ASCAP license.
Do I need an ASCAP license if my site or service includes a link to another site or service that uses ASCAP music?
Generally, no. ASCAP will license the site or service to which your site or service links. If, however, you are unsure whether you need a license, please contact ASCAP by sending an email to
I operate a low-power FM radio station and would like to stream the station online as well. Do I need a separate license for the stream?
Yes. Please complete the license application at:
How do I obtain an ASCAP license?
Please visit to obtain an ASCAP license.
Do I need an ASCAP license before I launch my service? What happens if I launch my service before obtaining an ASCAP license?
Performing copyrighted music without the proper licensing in place may amount to copyright infringement. It is, therefore, strongly recommended that you obtain all necessary licenses prior to the launch of a site or digital service utilizing copyrighted music.
What information do I require in order to obtain an ASCAP license?
You should be aware of your site or service’s annual revenue (if any) and usage. Usage metrics include (1) unique engagement sessions; (2) total content streaming time and (3) total song streams. Basic website statistics may be available to you at no cost via third-party measurement tools, such as Google Analytics.
There has been a change of ownership with my service. Who do I notify?
Please email and an ASCAP New Media Licensing representative will contact you with further information.
Who do I contact if my question(s) are not answered here?
If you have additional questions concerning ASCAP New Media licensing, or your responsibilities under the U.S. copyright law for the use of music by way of an Internet or digital wireless service, please contact ASCAP by utilizing the chat feature at, emailing or calling (800) 505-4052.
I know I need an ASCAP license, however, my site or service is new and I do not know how much revenue and/or sessions my site or service will generate. How do I complete the license application?
If actual data is not available in response to requested information, please provide a good faith estimate. All fields on an ASCAP license application and license fee report must be completed.
What income qualifies as "Service Revenue?"
All revenue connected with your entire site or service, such as the amounts and value of consideration received from advertising, sponsorships, affiliation and similar programs; placement and similar fees; e-commerce and other sales revenue; and access or membership charges or subscription fees.
What income qualifies as Music Revenue, and how does that differ from Service Revenue?
Music Revenue includes all revenues connected to only that portion of your site or service that provides performances of music. Include all amounts and value of consideration received from advertising, sponsorships, affiliation and similar programs; placement and similar fees; e-commerce and other sales revenue; and access or membership charges or subscription fees.
Can I take deductions in calculating my Revenue?
Yes, you may deduct actual and verifiable third party advertising agency commissions for the sale of advertising or sponsorships in amount no more than 10% of the advertising and sponsorship revenue. You may also deduct payable taxes.
What if my service has no advertising, subscription fees or income of any kind?
If your service does not generate any income, enter "$0.00" in the applicable revenue space on the license application and on the applicable revenue lines of any license fee reports.
What is a Session? Is it the same as a "hit?"
A Session is a single, continuous period of access to the site or service by a user, regardless of the length of such period. You may report your Sessions using third-party metrics such as that available through Google Analytics.
How do I calculate Total Streaming Hours?
Add the total minutes of music performance minutes and divide that result by 60, and round to the nearest whole number.
I operate more than one unique site or service that streams ASCAP music. May I license all of my sites and services through a single ASCAP license?
Generally you must obtain a separate ASCAP license for each individual site or service. If you wish to explore obtaining a single license that covers multiple sites or services, please contact ASCAP at
When are license fee payments due?
License fees for the initial term (first 12 months) of an ASCAP license agreement are due upon completion and submission of the license application. License fee payments for subsequent annual terms are due upon the each annual anniversary of the agreement and can be remitted through your My ASCAP License account, accessible at Your My ASCAP License account also provides you with the ability to view and print invoices, make changes to your address or contact information and set email preferences.
Are License Fees prorated for the current calendar year?
No. ASCAP license agreements operate on an annual contract year, calculated at 12 months from the date you enter into the ASCAP license (sometimes known as the “effective date”).
What forms of payment do you accept when entering into an ASCAP License through
You may only use a credit card to pay the initial term license fees when entering an ASCAP license. However, subsequent payments may be remitted by credit card, debit paper or electronic check, money order or wire transfer.
How do I access a My ASCAP License Account?
Once you have entered into an ASCAP license, you will receive by email instructions on how to register for a unique My ASCAP License account.
Can I access my account online?
Yes. You can access your My ASCAP License account at your convenience at
Can I submit a license application without paying the initial license fees and have ASCAP bill me later?
No. ASCAP will not accept your license application without receiving your credit card payment at the time you submit your application.
Once I submit to ASCAP my license application and initial payment at, am I fully licensed?
Within 5-7 business days of your submission of your application and initial fee, ASCAP will send you an email confirming that your license application and fee have been accepted. Please keep that email and the PDF copy of the license agreement that will be attached to the email as record confirmation that your site or service has been successfully licensed by ASCAP.
Where can I access a copy of my license?
If your license application was accepted successfully, a PDF copy of your license agreement will have been automatically provided to you via email within 5-7 business days after your submission of the license application.
What is an Annual Fee Report?
An Annual Fee Report is the means by which you calculate and inform ASCAP of your annual license fees due to ASCAP. You may access your Annual Fee Report at
How do I submit the Annual Fee Report?
You may only submit an Annual Fee Report online through your account at
How do I determine the number of Sessions I had for the previous year when completing my Annual Fee Report?
You may obtain this information from your site or service’s Internet service provider (ISP) and/or from one of many website analytics tools, such as Google Analytics.
When are License Fee Reports due?
For license agreements requiring annual reporting, reports are due within 45 days after the annual renewal of the license agreement. Reports are available at and must submitted through your My ASCAP License account at
What are Music Use Reports?
Music Use Reports are reports you submit to ASCAP of your site or service’s music usage.
What goes into my Music Use Report?
You will include on your Music Use Report the associated with each of the musical compositions streamed by your site or service during the report period.
Do I need to submit a Music Use Report?
Many ASCAP licenses do not require submission of a Music Use Report. Please consult Schedule A of your license agreement to determine your reporting requirements. If you are required to submit a Music Use Report, ASCAP will notify and instruct you via email of your specific reporting instructions.
Where can I find Music Use Report templates?
ASCAP will email you the appropriate template with instructions on how to complete the report.
How do I submit Music Use Reports?
Please consult the Music Use Reporting instructions provided to you by ASCAP via email.
How do I know what my account balance is?
You can check your account balance by logging in anytime to your My ASCAP License user account at
How do I know what reports I have due?
You can check what reports are due by logging in anytime to your My ASCAP License user account at
I am not required to submit Annual Fee Reports, but my Service Revenue and/or Sessions have changed beyond the threshold under which I currently qualify. How do I notify ASCAP so that my license and fee can be adjusted accordingly?
If your site or service has changed requiring license adjustments, please contact ASCAP at
My service has already launched prior to my contacting ASCAP for a license. Can I retroactively license my site or service and backdate my license to cover the earlier periods?
Your license cannot be backdated and will be effective only from the date you submit your license application and remit your license fee. If you wish to obtain license coverage for performances occurring prior to purchasing your license please email ASCAP at
I want an ASCAP license, but do not have a URL for my service because it operates only as a mobile app or a smart TV channel/app or because I have not yet secured the URL for my website. How do I complete the URL section on the license application?
License agreements for mobile or smart TV applications do not require you to enter a URL. If you desire a license for a website but do not yet have a URL, please return to for a license once you have obtained a URL to enter onto the application.
How do I terminate my agreement with ASCAP?
To terminate your ASCAP license agreement, please send an email to and an ASCAP representative will contact you.
I still have an older Interactive or Non-Interactive ASCAP new media license. How do I convert to a new license?
Please email, include your account number, and request for ASCAP to convert your license. An ASCAP New Media Licensing representative will contact you with next steps.
My relative was an ASCAP member or successor to a member and recently died. What do I do?
Please call 1-800-95ASCAP (1-800-952-7227) to speak with a representative from ASCAP’s Member Services department. We will guide you through the process of establishing a successor to the membership.
I am starting to do some estate planning. What should I do about my ASCAP royalties?
We recommend that you consult an experienced attorney to advise you as to your specific estate planning needs and to draw up the necessary papers. As a general matter, however, it is best to put your wishes in writing, including express provisions to deal with the disposition of ASCAP royalties.
Who will receive my membership interest after I die?
If you die without a Will, state laws of intestacy will dictate who receives your membership interest (subject, of course, to the relevant provisions of the Copyright Act). Therefore, if you wish to direct that your membership interest go to your spouse, your children, a trust, or other beneficiaries, you must prepare a Will or other appropriate estate planning documentation to set forth your wishes.
Can I designate a beneficiary to receive my royalties after I die?
Due to potential conflicts and the current state of the law, ASCAP cannot accept beneficiary forms. In order to ensure your wishes are followed, you should include your ASCAP royalties in your estate planning.
Can I assign my royalties during my lifetime?
A living ASCAP member’s request to assign his or her royalties must meet certain criteria to be permitted under ASCAP’s rules. Please consult the Royalties section of this webpage and the Compendium of ASCAP Rules and Regulations, available on our Governing Documents page.
Can my estate sell my membership rights and royalties?
Given the unique needs of the estates of writer members, ASCAP does permit the estate to sell or irrevocably assign the right to receive ASCAP writer royalties. ASCAP also permits living members to assign royalties irrevocably to a family member, living trust, or family-held company. Other rights of membership (such as the right to vote) are not assignable. If you are an heir or a successor to a deceased writer member and you are interested in selling or irrevocably assigning the deceased writer’s royalties, you may call our Member Services department (1-800-95ASCAP) or submit a Member Service inquiry via your Member Access account.
Can I make a bequest to ASCAP?
Bequests cannot be made to ASCAP directly, but you may make a bequest to The ASCAP Foundation, a tax-exempt public charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the federal tax law. The Foundation was incorporated in 1975 to promote and support charitable and educational programs in the field of music. The Foundation is completely separate from ASCAP with its own Board of Directors and Advisory Board. It is dedicated to nurturing the music talent of tomorrow, preserving the legacy of the past and sustaining the creative incentive for today's creators through a variety of educational, professional, and humanitarian programs and activities serving the entire music community. For more information on any of the Foundation's programs, or to inquire about including the Foundation in your estate planning, please visit its web site at
Cómo puedo hacerme miembro de ASCAP?
Afiliarse a ASCAP es facil. Simplemente visita nuestra página y haz click en “Join.” Si deseas hacerte miembro de ASCAP como compositor/autor, llena la solicitud de “Writer.” Si deseas hacerte miembro como editora, llena la solicitud de “Publisher.”
Cómo registro mis temas en ASCAP?
Puedes registrar tus temas en tu cuenta de Member Access ( Para facilitar este proceso sigue estas instrucciones. (Ingles básico es necesario).
  1. Visita nuestra página de internet en
  2. Selecciona “Manage Account", bajo la seccion de Music Creators
  3. Ingresa a tu cuenta de Member Access usando tu nombre de usuario y contraseña. Si no has activado tu cuenta de Member Access, podes activar tu cuenta hoy haciendo click en “Activate Your Account Now!”
  4. Haz click en “Register A Work” y sigue las instrucciones para registrar sus canciones.
Debo registrar mi canción en la Libreria del Congreso?
Es importante, aunque no obligatorio, que registres tus temas en la Biblioteca del Congreso para proteger tus temas. Para mas informacion por favor visite

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(We're music people. We're good at listening.)