A statutory license or compulsory license is a copyright license to use content under reasonable and non-discriminatory terms. In the United States it is defined by an Act of Congress in the copyright law. Similar laws exist in other countries. For example, radio broadcasters need a license to play music published through ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC ( SOCAN in Canada).
Broadcasters do not need to obtain permission from the copyright holders to play a song; however, they must pay usage fees to the copyright holders based on how often a particular song is played. Most often used in the music industry, compulsory licensing schemes may also apply to works in other media besides music, such as copyright royalties paid for photocopies of academic articles copied in universities.
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