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Home > UW Policies > Licenses > Music Performance Licenses

Music Performance Licenses


The University of Washington has entered into blanket agreements with Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Society of European Songwriters, Artists and Composers (SESAC).

The agreements allow university faculty, students and staff to play or perform music at many University functions.

It is necessary to check the individual music catalogs to determine if the music you want to play or perform is covered by one or more of the organizations. The music may be covered by more than one license.This is general information on the rights licensed from each or of the organizations.

If your intended use is outside the scope of the licenses, or you want to use music not in any of the catalogs, you may need to obtain permission before you proceed.

BMI Catalog (www.bmi.com)
Check the BMI Catalog to see if the music you want to play or perform is covered by this license.

The BMI license grants permission for UW faculty, students and staff to perform or play (by live or recorded means) any music in the BMI catalog at public events on University premises, including, but not limited to performances by or at: Sporting events, Socials, Musical attractions; Campus radio broadcasting stations; Student unions; College theater groups; Fitness centers; Classrooms; Fairs/festivals; Athletic facilities; Special events, such as orientation or graduation; Fraternities and sororities; "Music on hold" through the University telephone system.

BMI Excluded: The license agreement specifically excludes the following:

  • Televised transmissions (broadcast, cable, satellite or other)
  • Internet transmissions
  • Dramatic rights associated with dramatico-musical works (or any other exercise of the "grand rights") (such as a musical comedy, opera, play with music, revue or ballet.)
  • Playing music via a jukebox

  • Musical events on campus sponsored by outside promoters
  • Commercial radio broadcasts

ASCAP Catalog (www.ascap.com)
Check the ASCAP Catalog to see if the music you want to play or perform is covered by this license.

The ASCAP License grants permission for UW faculty, staff, students and alumni, while performing under the auspices of the UW, to perform or play any music in the ASCAP catalog on University premises. ASCAP Excluded: The license agreement specifically excludes the following:

  • Transmissions to persons outside the premises via broadcasting, telecasting or transmission by wire or otherwise
  • Musical events on campus co-sponsored or co-promoted by outside promoters
  • Playing music via a jukebox
  • Dramatic rights associated with dramatico-musical works (or any other exercise of the "grand rights") (such as a musical comedy, opera, play with music, revue or ballet.)

SESAC (www.sesac.com)
Check the SESAC Catalog to see if the music you want to play or perform is covered by this license.

SESAC license terms

The SESAC license grants permission for UW faculty, students and staff to perform or play (by live or recorded means) any music in the SESAC catalog at public events on University premises, including broadcast on UW radio stations, and closed circuit transmissions within UW locations.

SESAC Excluded: The license agreement specifically excludes the following:

  • Broadcast, televised or other forms of transmission
  • Recording, filming, videotaping or otherwise capturing and reproducing performances
  • Dramatic rights associated with dramatico-musical works (or any other exercise of the "grand rights") (such as a musical comedy, opera, play with music, revue or ballet.)
  • Playing music via a jukebox
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