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How Do Music Royalties Work?


When an artist’s music is under copyright, trademark or patent, and someone wants to use this music, he must pay for the rights to do this. These compensatory payments are called music royalties. The right’s owners of intellectual property can get them. Here we mean songwriters, recording artists, composers, and their representatives. In case there are no rights or ownership, this means getting no money.

Music rights can be of two types.

Composition. It means a songwriter and music publisher are owners of the copyright for the lyrics, harmony, and melody. Fun fact, composition copyright is received when an original work is fixed on a tangible medium (sheet music, notepad, post on social media).

Master. The copyright gets created when the specific composition gets converted to a sound recording. It must be owned by recording artists as well as their record labels (in case they cooperate with some).

Check the infographic to learn the process of getting music royalties and how they work.

Royalties Work
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