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Once I've paid a Performing Rights Organization (eg. ASCAP) for a public performance license, how do I obtain the actual music files? Do the licensing companies provide them, or do I need to purchase them from a music retailer? Can I use a streaming service like Spotify? The FAQs on the licensing sites are unclear about this.

  • When you want to use a sound recording under a license, wouldn't you typically already have a copy of the recording, so you know what you're getting? – Upnorth Sep 1 '17 at 5:21
  • Not in this situation, no. I need access to a whole bunch of songs for a website. – Edward Brennan Sep 1 '17 at 12:34
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I would make contact the organization you have in mind, but in general the license only expands the rights you already have when you acquire a work of music.

  • "The rights you already have" would (in the USA) include the right to perform the works in public, provided the performance meets the criteria of a statutory exemption (e.g., not for commercial advantage and where nobody is making a profit, under 17USC 110(4)). – Upnorth Sep 1 '17 at 5:20

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