Please note: The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) does not administer performance licenses or distribute performance royalties. 


A public performance license grants permission from the copyright holder to the user to play a work publiclyA public performance is defined as occurring in a public place or anywhere people gather outside of a small circle of family or social acquaintances. Public performances include broadcasting to the public, such as performances over the internet, radio, or television. 


A writer is owed a performance royalty any time their music is played:  

  • On radio stations (terrestrial, satellite or Internet) 
  • In stores, bars, restaurants and nightclubs 
  • On television shows or commercials 
  • Performed in live venues 


Performance rights organizations (PROs) administer performance licenses to and collect performance royalties from radio stations, venues, digital service providers (DSPs) and TV networks. PROs then distribute the money to affiliated writers and publishers.