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When Does one need an ASCAP License?

Todd Brabec, as Executive Vice President and Worldwide Director of Membership for ASCAP for well over 3 decades and was responsible for signing most of ASCAP’s successful songwriters and writer/artists including James Taylor, Marvin Gaye, Metallica, Green Day, Smokey Robinson, Joni Mitchell, Neil Young, Journey, the Jimi Hendrix catalogue, Earth, Wind & Fire, Bob McDill, Jeff Lynne, Tom Petty, Sting, Marc Anthony, ZZ Top, Motley Crue, Billy Joel, Donna Summer, Foreigner, Bryan Adams, Steely Dan and Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as the blockbuster film and television composers James Horner("Avatar" and "Titanic"-the 2 top grossing films of all time), Alan Silvestri ("Marvel's The Avengers"), Hans Zimmer ( “Pirates of the Caribbean” films), James Newton Howard (“Dark Knight”), Michael Giacchino (“Up”, “Medal of Honor” video games) and Randy Newman ("Toy Story" films), among many others. He is a current Governing Committee Member as well as former Music Chair and Budget Chair for the American Bar Association Forum on the Entertainment and Sports Industries.

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Todd Brabec is the Vice President and Director of Membership for the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP). He talks about when an individual needs a license. Whenever music is used for anything outside the home, such as a department store or dentist office, permission must be given. A license must be acquired and a payment made. Brabec explains that the decision of whether ASCAP or BMI collects the money and negotiates the fee depends on the writer of the composition being performed. Whichever organization the writer is affiliated with settles the license. Also in this segment, Brabec discusses negotiating licenses. ASCAP deals with all different users of music. Each license is negotiated separately. For instance, university licenses depend on the number of full time students enrolled. Reciprocal agreements are covered as well. The main countries of the world have their own performing rights organization. Since American writers and publishers receive a lot of their money from outside of the United States, ASCAP has agreements with the PROs of the world. When ASCAP writers are performed outside of the US, the foreign PROs collect as if the American writers were part of their own society.

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