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Music for Restaurants - SESAC Music License Guide

music licensing guide

Moreover, if you are wondering how to get the SESAC Music license, here is a comprehensive guide to help you.

SESAC- the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers is a non-profit PRO organization. It is one of the leading performing rights activists, who work for music composers, artists and songwriters in the United States. The organization works on contracts with businesses related to retail, and hospitality to let them play music for public use legally.

Moreover, if you play music illegally that is without seeking the permission of the composer or track owner, you get sued with heavy penalty charges. Today, it has become a serious concern of businesses who avoid paying a minimum fee and in return becomes liable to pay more than $5000 of sued charges. It not only shakes their financial values but hurts their credibility as legit and authentic as well. Nobody wants to enlist their firm as illegal; hence, it’s best to learn about the licensing ins and outs from down below:

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Table of Contents

All About SESAC Music License

SESAC, founded in the 1930s, focused on music belonging to European firms. However, over the years, it has expanded its reach and now work for many other regional companies. It is now a supporter of American publishers as well. Among the top artist who is affiliated with the firm, include:

  • Adele
  • RUSH
  • Neil Diamon
  • The Avett Brothers
  • Mumford & Sons

The organization is intimidating. The artists interact with the professionals and sign contracts with them who then approaches the businesses and ask them to acquire a license or pay the penalty fees. The organization works on behalf of its publishers and artists.

Moreover, when it comes to paying, it implies artists pay royalty fees monthly. It becomes difficult for a new artist who does not own many savings or bank accounts and rather live on paychecks to paychecks. Hence, for them, other PRO organizations are more suited.

How does SESAC Operate?

According to the Royalty Exchange, SESAC operates a bit differently from all the other PRO organizations, as it’s an on-profit one.

The other organizations are strict in pulling the fees and charges. They have a strict contractual clause and implies heavy fees. Their every action is more aggressive as compared to that of non-profit as they have to generate revenues to stay profited. However, SESAC is more convenient. Neither the penalty fees are high nor is the contractual clause strict.

Moreover, it’s easier to sign up on the site to procure a license with minimal investments. You do not need an individual representative or long course meetings for the license. Simply navigate to their site and pay to get your license in no time.

SESAC blog

How Much Does SESAC Music License Cost?

SESAC is the PRO entity that works for the rights of composers. Therefore, whenever or wherever any song is played the organization calls the business to pay for the music. SESAC representatives collect the fees and then distribute a portion of it to the songwriter or composer. Whoever is associated with the music agrees to the decided percentage split and receives it from the organization. ‘

Moreover, when it comes to the music license fees, it varies from business to business. The fees for a retail store would be different than that of a bar or a restaurant. Moreover, the amount varies upon usage. Hence, the firm recommends the business consult its professionals to get a proper quote.

In addition, by getting in touch with them directly, you can get flexible plans for your business. The organization is very considerate and helps both sides to get their rightful solution. On the contrary, other performance rights organizations may not collaborate with the publishers like the way SESAC does. They even charge you much higher than you can be from SESAC.

SESAC Music License Copyrights Infringement Penalty

The organizations listed under PRO are liable to not send any emails or calls rather physical letters to the businesses upon copyright infringement. The organization sends many letters before taking action directly.

Moreover, they tend to warn the businesses to cooperate with them and either pay the fees or get the license. Several cases have been reported where business have shared their stories of receiving letters with penalty bills from SESAC. It’s good to respond promptly rather than letting the representatives show up at your door with a bill higher than you have ever expected.

Furthermore, a case was reported to the Funeral Directors Association where the business was liable to pay SESAC around $1.2 million along with paying to the attorney to handle their case, which made the amount rise to a total of $500,000.

On the whole, the penalty fees can start from $750 can go above $30,000 per infringement, according to the U.S music law.

How to Avoid Paying For Music Licenses

If you want to avoid paying licensing to SESAC there are other alternatives as well. You need to play the music that you own. You can even go for public domains having license-free music available for everyone to play. Apart from these options comes TV and radio broadcasting. You can play songs through radio channels or TV shows. However, there comes a downside with it; you will not be able not play a targeted music playlist only a bunch of random songs that may or may not suit your business voice or tone.

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