Right of Public Performance – (ONLY: composition/songwriter/publisher) This protects you when your song is performed to the public. Any time your song is played in public, be it over the radio or live or online, it is a public performance. Again, you’ll make the most money here by licensing your right to others. Radio stations and venues pay you, through a PRO, to be able to play your songs.
Right of Reproduction – This covers you when you or someone else makes copies of your song. You can make them or you can license others to make them. This is a core right that you get when you create a song.
Right of Distribution – This is your right to distribute all those songs to the public. With this right you can send digital files of your music to digital stores all across the country and physically deliver copies of it to fans at live shows and in stores. The Reproduction and Distribution rights have been the bread and butter of the recording industry. Labels pay you for every time they make a copy of your song to sell
Right of Derivatives – This helps you to create new works based on your song. This could be a new arrangement or even a theatrical performance that combines your music with dance. Of course, you can create your own derivative works, but the real money here is from licensing to others. Other musicians can pay to get permission to sample your music or create their own arrangements or variations or other creative use. It is a derivative after all.
Right of Public Display – This is not as relevant in music as it is in other art forms since it’s difficult to visually display sound. However, you can utilize this right to display your song lyrics to the public via a YouTube video, on your website, or even a t-shirt. Many musicians are not as concerned with this right and, as a result, there are plenty of lyric sites floating around on the internet that pay no licenses to the songwriters whose lyrics they display.
Right of Digital Transmission – (ONLY: master recording/performing artist/label) – This allows you to perform the sound recording to the public. Sound recording owners get paid when their recordings are streamed and played on internet services like Spotify and Pandora. Not much, but its a start.
Composition – The lyrics and melody; the idea of the song; the structure and notes of the song.
Master Recording – A specific recording of a composition. Also referred to as just the “Master”. So, songs are single compositions that can be recorded/sung/performed by anybody to create many different master recordings.
Songwriter – Someone who composes the song; writes the lyrics or melodies (composition). Songwriters are represented by Publishers.
Performing Artist – Someone who records/sings/performs the song (composition), and creates a master recording. Sometimes referred to as the “Recording Artist”, or just the “Artist”. Artists are represented by Record Labels.
Record Label – Exploits the rights for the master recording of a song (gets people to use and pay for) and deals with performing artist/master recording royalties. “I own the masters to your songs!”💽👹
Publisher – Exploits the rights for the composition and deals with songwriter/composition royalties. “I own the publishing to your songs!”🎼👹