Music Publishing for Beginners

[sg_popup id=”2″ event=”onload”][/sg_popup]Welcome back to Melosity’s Music Publishing blog for beginners! 

Every week, Melosity discuss different aspects within the business of music publishing to help you understand the topic a bit better. Last week, Melosity discussed the two forms of copyright that exist within a song; the song copyright and master recording copyright. If you haven’t checked out last week’s blog yet, you can read it here. This week, we focus on collection societies. Let us look at why we need them, what they do and what collection societies exist in Ireland and the UK.

For anyone to use your music, they must get permission from you to play your music. Yet, it is not a simple case of asking and receiving. As a songwriter, you must value your work and negotiate the terms of agreement for them to use your music. Elements to consider should be how long will they use the music for and how much will they pay you to use your music. This may all become extremely tedious, especially when you have more than one song to look after. So, who could take care of this for you? Yes, you have guessed it. A collection society!

What are collection societies?

Collection societies provide an extremely useful service to their members, collecting song royalties and monitoring song copyrights on behalf of their members. Once you sign up with a collection society, you are giving them your right to collect royalties on your behalf. So, what are the benefits of a collection society?

  • One-stop service – Sign up and the particular collection society will take care of your song rights.
  • Efficiency – Collection societies allow for quicker and easier business between rights holders and rights seekers.
  • Protection – You have proof that your songs exist. Also, collection societies monitor the performances of songs to ensure maximum royalties are collected.

Once a collection society collects song royalties, they distribute them to their members.

As we discussed last week, there are two forms of copyright within a song. The 1) Song Copyright and 2) Master Recording Copyright. This means we need two different collection societies to look after each form of copyright. Similarly, separate collection societies exist in Ireland and the UK.

In the UK

PRS (Performing Rights Society): collects royalties from public performance of song. Eg. playing live in a bar.

MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society): collects royalties from the use of material in sound recordings or the sale of a recording. E.g. a ringtone.

PPL (Phonographic Performance Limited): licenses records for broadcasting and public performances. Collects revenue from performances of broadcasted sound recordings. E.g. a song on the radio.

In Ireland     

IMRO  (Irish Music Rights Organization): collects royalties from public performance of song.

MCPSI (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society Ireland): collects royalties from the use of material in sound recordings or the sale of a recording.

PPI (Phonographic Performance Ireland): licenses records for broadcasting and public performances. Collects revenue from performances of broadcasted sound recordings.

RAAP (Recorded Artists Actors Performers): collects royalties on behalf of performers on a record.

Thats all for now. In essence, this information is absolutely VITAL for any songwriter, musician, artist, you name it. Melosity encourages you to sit down, learn this information and maybe investigate the topic a little deeper. Make sure you keep updated and check back for Melosity’s music publishing blog next week.

This blog was brought to you by the online music collaboration platform, Melosity. Melosity allows musicians to connect and collaborate on the same track real-time from anywhere in the world. Join today, connect with musicians and start making music together instantly. Click here to find out more. 

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