Performance or Performing Rights
A "performing right" is granted by most National Copyright Acts to owners of musical works to license those works for public performance. In general, the types of businesses who license music include radio and TV stations, nightclubs, hotels, discos, and other establishments that use music to augment their business operations in any way.
Due to the millions of establishments - radio and television stations, nightclubs, hotels, amusement parks and the like - in the world where music is publicly performed, it would be virtually impossible for individual copyright holders and publishers to monitor these music users themselves.
To ensure proper royalties are paid to the copyright holders, in most nations, non-profit organizations called Performing Rights Organizations (PRO's) have been established. PRO's acquire and monitor performance rights on behalf of their members (writers and publishers) and in turn grant licenses to use its entire repertoire to the above mentioned users of the music. PRO's then collect license fees from each music user, and distributes back to the writers and publishers, all the money collected (less operating expenses).
Through various methods of "sampling the airwaves", the PRO's then proportionally divide the collected moneys amongst the copyright holders and publishers whose titles were represented in the sampling.
You can search for publisher and copyright holder information using the following third-party databases:
You may learn more about mechanical and synchronization licenses on the web site of the National Music Publishers Association.