A Guide to Music Performance Royalties, Part 1

A nice primer for musicians and songwriters from Music Tech Policy.

MUSIC • TECHNOLOGY • POLICY

Let’s start at the beginning.  Broadly speaking, each recording of a song contains two copyrights: the copyright in the “musical work” or what is commonly called the “song” and the copyright in the recording of the song, commonly called the “track” or the “master”.

90% of all mistakes made by anyone in discussions of the online music business (and really the music business in general) starts right there. If you made this mistake, don’t feel self-conscious.  You are not alone, believe me.  Sometimes shockingly not alone.

Ownership and the Inception of CreationA song is not a recording and a recording is not a song. Each can be, and usually is, created by different people.  Songs are created by a “songwriter” (usually teams of songwriters coming together to write a single songs or many songs).  Recordings are created by “artists,” usually teams of artists known as a group or…

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