Music Business 101

Frequently asked questions

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  • Miscellaneous Membership Issues: Copyright
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.

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Latest News

Global ASCAP Family Clinches 21 Primetime Emmy Nominations

It’s a big day for ASCAP’s small screen talent! The National Television Academy of Arts and Sciences has recognized 19 of our composers, songwriters and music supervisors with a total of 21 nominations for the 2020 Primetime Creative Arts Emmys. This year’s crop of nominees is a diverse mix of first-time nominees doing incredible work, and Emmy veterans still at the top of their game.

Four ASCAP Members Win 2020 Daytime Emmys

On July 26, The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS) announced the final group of winners for the 2020 Creative Arts Daytime Emmys, and four ASCAP members made the cut!

Remarks from ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews to DOJ Workshop on Competition in the Licensing of Public Performance Rights in the Music Industry (July 28, 2020)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) held a virtual public workshop on July 28 and 29, 2020, to discuss competition in the licensing of public performance rights in the music industry. ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews spoke at the proceedings on behalf of ASCAP.