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

Pop Superstar The Weeknd Celebrated as 2021 Songwriter of the Year at ASCAP Pop Music Awards

Honoring pop music’s hottest songwriters, producers and publishers, The American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) today announces the winners of the 2021 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, which will be celebrated on @ASCAP social media through April 15.

2021 ASCAP Pop Music Awards

ASCAP rolled out the virtual red carpet at our 2021 ASCAP Pop Music Awards, honoring the songwriters, producers and publishers of the biggest hits of 2020.

2020 Tax Forms Are Now Available in Member Access

Great news! 2020 tax forms based on your ASCAP royalties for reference in preparing your tax return are now available online.

VERSED: The ASCAP Podcast / Ep. 22 - Elevating Asian Voices

In response to the recent wave of racism and violence against the Asian-American & Pacific Islander communities, this special episode of VERSED is devoted to lifting up our many AAPI songwriters and composers. We've invited a diverse group of ASCAP members to give voice to their Asian heritage, and how it has impacted them as music creators and people.