Intellectual Property Law
Intellectual Property Law Questions? Ask a Lawyer
Yes, you need to get permission to publicly perform the music (i.e. air it to the public). If your YouTube video contains any footage, you will also need to get a synchronization license.
You can get the performance license (called a mechanical license) from ASCAP (http://www.ascap.com/) or BMI (http://www.bmi.com/)
You can also try Harry Fox (http://www.harryfox.com/)
If you do not want to spend the time and money trying to obtain a license for a well known song (which can be expensive and time consuming - especially for a sync license) your best bet is to get a song from a royalty free site or instead of using the original, use one done by a cover band.
You will still need a license for the cover but it will be a lot less expensive and possibly royalty free.
If your power point presentation does not contain video then you will just need the mechanical license.
Note, that last bit is arguable - others may suggest that a sync license is needed for pairing music with any kind of visuals.
Let me know if you have any questions.
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