On behalf of many thousands of songwriters and music publishers, SESAC offers blanket license agreements that authorize the performance of all the compositions in the SESAC repertory, which is at one million songs and counting.
If you are using someone’s property (song) there is a moral and legal obligation to obtain the owner’s permission. Under the US Copyright law, anyone who publicly performs copyrighted music is required to obtain advanced permission from the copyright owner or their representative. If you publicly perform any copyrighted song without proper authorization, you are breaking the law and can be held liable for damages from a minimum of $750 up to a maximum of $150,000 per song played.
The Better Business Bureau provides additional information concerning the Copyright Law and a music user’s responsibilities.