General Information

General Information


US Copyright laws give music producers, artists, and song writers the right to charge fees for the performance of their works. The US Congress has formalized some of these rights in the Digital Millennium Copyright Act and subsequent actions, related to the broadcasting of music and other copyrighted works on the Internet. The Copyright Office has endowed the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America) with the formal authority to collect fees on behalf of its membership. The RIAA has established a business unit named 'SoundExchange' for this purpose. In addition to RIAA/SoundExchange, there are three other organizations that represent members of this trade and charge performance fees. They are ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC.

Performance Rights Organization Information

There has been a great deal of confusion in the industry related to the rates structure and fees charged by these organizations. To aid your understanding, we have created the following overview. You can go to the web sites of each of these organizations to determine your precise obligation by using their on-line calculation tools or downloadable spreadsheets.

Terrestrial broadcasters are generally covered under their current agreements with ASCAP and BMI. SESAC requires a Website Addendum to your current agreement. Contact us for details.

DISCLAIMER: Any information on is intended for informational purposes only. SurferNETWORK provides software for generating Sound Exchange reporting requirements. SurferNETWORK does not offer legal advice to broadcasters seeking license and royalty compliance.