“Paying the Piper – Best Practices for Playing Music in Restaurants,” Modern Restaurant Management

Restaurants and bars are required to have a license to play music, as many songwriters and artists have protections under the federal copyright law to ensure no one infringes on their music.

American Society of Composers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music International (BMI), Society of European Stage Authors and Composers (SESAC) and Global Music Rights (GMR) are the four prominent organizations that all restaurants should have a license with, as they hold rights to difference music. Restaurants must pay an annual licensing fee to these organizations who then pay the artists royalties for their songs.

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