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Music License Reminder for RRCA Members

Upbeat music has been a mainstay at running events for many years. In the past, a licensing manager for the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) has contacted RRCA members about music licensing.

Did you know that if you plan on playing music at your event you could be subjected to fines or even worse a lawsuit if you do not have a music license? According to ASCAP, music is valuable intellectual property. Ownership of this property remains with those who create it. In order to perform or play copyrighted music lawfully for the entertainment of others, you must obtain permission from the copyright owners or their representatives, such as ASCAP.

If you plan on playing music at your event, you need to obtain public performance rights to play recorded music. Just because you own a CD or have created a pre-and post-race play-list from music you have purchased online through iTunes or a similar service does not give you the right to play it publically.

If you have been playing music at your events for years without a music license, don’t panic. Obtaining a music license is not complicated nor is it terribly expensive. Public performance rights licensing is managed by two organizations, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) and BMI (Broadcast Music Incorporated).

After speaking with a licensing manager at ASCAP, the RRCA was informed that an ASCAP blanket license agreement is the most convenient and economical way to obtain permission to publicly perform any and all of the millions of copyrighted musical works in the vast ASCAP repertory, which boasts over 330,000 songwriters. Unfortunately, the RRCA cannot act as an agent for our members with ASCAP. So RRCA members that want to play music at their event will need to contact either ASCAP or BMI to obtain a blanket license agreement.

The fees are reasonable to obtain a one-day license and are based on expected number of people that will be part of the event. This includes runners and spectators.
The fees quoted are as follows:

Audience Size
1 to 6,000 people
6,001 to 12,000 people
12,001 to 25,000 people
25,001+ people

Daily Fee


If you hire or have a volunteer DJ for your events, be sure they have a music license. RRCA members are encouraged to contact ASCAP or BMI for more information about obtaining public performance rights for music played at events.

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