Kiss and Scene Stealer Music
How Songwriting Earns Income
By special guest presentation by, Joy R. Butler, ESQ.
|This article is excerpted
from the audiobook,
The Musician's Guide Through the Legal Jungle(TM):
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions About Music Law
© 2000 Joy R. Butler; (P) 2000 Sashay Communications, LLC
"Music law made easy in a lively 3-hour audio presentation"
Let's briefly go through each one. The chart at the end of this article summarizes the sources of your songwriting royalty income.
license gives a record company or other party the right
to reproduce your song on to a record. You might
negotiate this license directly with the person who wants
to record your song. Alternatively, the person who wants
to record your song may obtain a compulsory mechanical
Each time your
song is performed in public, you are entitled to receive
royalty income for that public performance. It doesn't
matter whether your song is performed by a live band, or
if a recorded version of your song is played. Both can
qualify as a public performance. That means your song is
performed publicly when a recording of it is broadcast on
a radio station, when it is played as part of a
television program or when it is played in a nightclub.
To comply with copyright law, the radio station,
television network, or club must have a performing rights
license authorizing the public performance.
synchronization license, you authorize someone to use
your song with visual images. Your song is synchronized
with the visual images. That's why the license is called
a synchronization license or synch license for short. The
visual images might be from a commercial, film, video,
television show or other audiovisual production.
A print license
authorizes the sale of your song in printed form. Printed
music is sold as single song sheet music or as part of a
folio, which is a book containing a collection of songs
by one or more songwriters.
The same licenses
that we just discussed - mechanical, performance,
synchronization and print - are also issued in foreign
countries. Songwriters or their music publisher typically
retain an agent located in each of the foreign countries
where the song is exploited. These sub-publishers - as
they are frequently called -collect royalties generated
in their country, retain about 15-25% as their fee, and
pass the remainder along to the songwriter or U.S. music
|Type of Income||Paid by:||Collected by:||Publisher's Share 1||Writer's Share1|
|Mechanical Royalties||Record companies; others who record your songs||Music Publisher||50%||50%|
|Performance Royalties||Broadcast stations; nightclubs; other public forums||Performing Rights Society||50%||50%|
|Synch Royalties||Film and TV producers||Music Publisher||50%||50%|
|Print Royalties||Print publishing company||Music Publisher||20% of retail price on sheet music; 10-12.5% on folios||8-12 cents on sheet music2; 10% of wholesale price on folios|
|Foreign Royalties||Users of your song located in foreign territories||Sub-Publisher3||50%||50%|
|NOTES TO CHART ON SONGWRITING INCOME:
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Joy R. Butler, all rights reserved world wide, no reproductions
may be made without
thanks to JOY R. BUTLER for sharing this with us.
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