Permission To Use a Song

MTI does not represent the individual music publishing rights in songs from shows in our catalog. For these licenses - synch, mechanical, reprint, etc. - you must contact the copyright owner or music publisher to clear the rights you need.

Finding the music publisher of a song

You may be able to determine the copyright owner or music publisher by looking at the copyright notices on your published material, usually on the bottom of the sheet music or in the liner notes of a cast recording.

Searching for the song title in the performance rights societies' databases is another option (in the United States, these organizations are ASCAP, BMI and SESAC). These organizations represent most of the songs that appear in MTI shows in the United States; their websites will list the music publisher and contact information for each song represented. The Songview website combines the ASCAP and BMI repertories, and it may be the best starting place for your search.

When you have identified the publisher, you can visit their websites and reach out to them directly to obtain the license you need.

Requesting permission to print lyric in a publication

For permission to reprint lyrics, many of the major music publishers do not handle those requests directly but instead partner with Hal Leonard or Alfred Music.

Requesting permission to include a song/s in a revue

In order to present such productions, you must obtain the appropriate 'small rights' license.

For your convenience, we have developed the Guidelines below to give you a sense of what is involved, but these Guidelines do not constitute legal advice.

Please note that exceeding or disregarding the Guidelines could result in your production violating the rights of MTI and/or our authors under federal copyright law.

  • No 'dramatic' performances of any songs from MTI shows are permitted. The songs can be performed only in cabaret style. While it is sometimes difficult to draw a distinction between dramatic and non-dramatic performances, a dramatic performance usually involves using a song to tell a story or as part of a story or plot.
  • No dialogue may be used.
  • No sets, costumes or choreography that evoke the original show may be used.
  • MTI materials, which are licensed only for grand rights uses, cannot be used. You must legally obtain the rights to any sheet music or other music materials used from an authorized source.
  • As a rule of thumb, no more than three songs should be used from any one title or any one composer.
  • The revue must be the work of multiple composers.
  • Composer name(s) should not be used as part of the title of the program.
  • The venue must obtain a blanket license to use the songs from ASCAP/BMI/SESAC. For more information about blanket licenses, see the respective websites of ASCAP, BMI or SESAC.