What kind of royalties can copyright law provide your music?

If you are one of New York's residents with a creative streak, you may have written one or more songs. Whether you perform them or not, you may want to take advantage of copyright law and protect your materials from someone using them without your permission. In addition, making use of the laws available to you could also provide you with royalties for your tunes.

What kinds of royalties could you receive? Every time your song is downloaded, recorded or put onto a CD, you could receive what is called a mechanical royalty. This royalty usually runs around $.91 here in New York. When an artist performs a piece of music you wrote, you could receive a royalty as well. This one is called a public performance royalty. 

Many royalties result from licensing agreements. You, as the songwriter, enter into an agreement with another party or parties for the use of one of your songs. Ordinarily, the other party wants to use the song for a movie, TV show or some other purpose. You could receive up to 50 percent of the licensing fee as a royalty under these agreements. In fact, your mechanical royalty could be that much as well depending on the provisions of the contract.

Of course, in order for you to take advantage of these royalties, you need to gain a better understanding of copyright law. You will need to obtain a copyright for each piece of music, and then negotiate with others who want to use your music in order to receive royalties. These processes involve complex processes for which you will probably want some assistance.

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