ASCAP was established on this day in 1914

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American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers

Common clues: Songwriters' org.; BMI rival; Music-licensing org.; Music rights group; Show biz org.; Tin Pan Alley org.

Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year

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Video: Tom Waits – ASCAP Awards 2001 speech

The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) is an organization known as a performing right organization that protects its members musical copyright, ensuring that their copyrighted music which is broadcast, or otherwise publicly performed, whether live or recorded, is properly licensed by the music users via an ASCAP license to compensate the creators of that music. In the United States, ASCAP competes with two other performing rights organizations: Broadcast Music Incorporated (or BMI) and SESAC.

Victor Herbert, musician, composer and founder of ASCAP photographed in 1914

ASCAP was established in New York City on February 13, 1914 to protect the copyrighted musical compositions of its members, then mostly the United States' Tin Pan Alley music business. Both BMI and ASCAP, as well as other organizations like SESAC monitor performances of the music of their respective members, and collect and distribute royalties. ASCAP collected $749 million in licensing fees in 2005, and claims 235,000 songwriter, composer and music publisher members.

Radio stations originally only broadcast performers live, the performers working for free. Later performers wanted to be paid and recordings became more palatable. Many composers didn't want their music performed or played for free, but the stations wouldn't pay them. The composers who were members of ASCAP boycotted radio in 1944. The stations established a competing source of music, Broadcast Music Incorporated (BMI). Many stations also joined one of the NBC networks, Red or Blue, to lower production costs. (The NBC Blue network later became ABC.)

ASCAP has an extensive awards program: Country Music, Concert Music, Primetime Emmy, World Soundtrack, MTV Music Video, Pop, Rhythm and Soul Music, Film and Television, El Premio, Dove, Christian Music, Academy of Country Music, Academy, NAACP Image, Stellar, Soul Train, Grammy, Billboard Music, Golden Globe, and American Music.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "ASCAP".