Music licensing means transfer of exclusive or non – exclusive rights to use a piece of music which sometimes may be a complete song, a snippet of a song or an entire album or an entire repertoire for a set period of time, for a fee. Music licensing deals can take several forms, but generally all deals dictate the presence of a licensing fee, an expiration date of the licensing agreement, and terms specifying where and how the licensee can use the licensed music.
These licenses are taken by various commercial entities such as television broadcasting organisations, radio stations, digital platforms, restaurants, bars, discotheques etc. In the olden days, authors, composers and copyright owners collected performing right royalties as a norm for operas and similar stage works; but for shorter works which were often performed publicly, thousands of times a day, at all sorts of entertainment programs around the world, some special method of tracking had to be devised.
In practice, it would be intolerably troublesome and costly, if not wholly impractical, to obtain permission to perform copyrighted music in public, and of course it would be impossible for most copyright-owners to deal adequately with such requests of permission. In order to resolve this problem, formation of collective management organizations was introduced under the Berne and Rome conventions. Collective Management Organizations, in some jurisdictions, are called Performing Right Societies or Copyright Societies. By now, in most countries, performing societies have been established.