Getting Started with Non-Commercial Licensing

Q:  Why should I authorize the NRBNMLC to represent me?

A:  By authorizing and supporting NRBNMLC, you are able to influence the outcome of  negotiations and proceedings that determine music licensing fees.

Q:  What happens if I air unlicensed music on my station?

A:  You would be infringing on a copyright if you air a copyrighted song on your station.  Copyright law provides for judgments as high as $100,000 for each infringement.

Q:  What are the criteria for a station to be represented by NRBNMLC?

A:  The station should be an FCC-licensed “noncommercial educational licensee” and have a format which makes it similarly situated with the core membership of NRBNMLC

Q:  My station is predominately talk-formatted.  Do I still need to have music licenses?

A:  Yes.  If your stations airs “incidental” or “ambient” music, we strongly urge you to have a license with all three P.R.O.s – ASCAP, BMI and SESAC – in order to cover uses of copyrighted music found in themes, bumpers and intros that are found in most programming.

Q:  What copyrights are covered by the P.R.O.s?

A:  ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are the collectives who license the public performance copyright for “musical works.” A musical work is the underlying composition or lyrics of a song performed on your station.  It does not matter whether the musical work is a recording or a live performance, it is publicly performed on your station it must be licensed.

SoundExchange is another collective that is distinct from the P.R.O.s ASCAP, etc., because it does not collect musical work royalties.  SoundExchange collects and distributes sound recording performance royalties from digital transmissions of sound recordings like Internet radio simulcasts.

Q:  How is NRBNMLC supported?

A:  NRBNMLC is supported solely through the contributions of its members.