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What Are Public Performance Royalties for Publishers?
What Are Public Performance Royalties for Publishers?

Learn about the difference between public performance rights for publishers and writers.

Updated over a week ago

Public performance rights for music publishers refer to the rights granted to publishers to receive compensation when their catalog of musical compositions is publicly performed. Music publishers play a crucial role in managing the rights to musical compositions and representing the interests of songwriters (who have their own set of public performance rights for writers).

When these compositions are performed in public, the publishers are entitled to receive royalties for the use of their works.

Here's how public performance rights for music publishers generally work:

1. Performance Rights Organizations (PROs): Organizations such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC are responsible for collecting fees from businesses and venues that publicly use music. These fees are collected for the public performance of musical compositions.

2. Licensing and Royalties: Music publishers enter into licensing agreements with PROs, granting them the right to collect performance royalties on behalf of the publishers and songwriters. The PROs then license the use of music to various businesses and venues.

3. Distribution of Royalties: The collected fees are distributed as royalties to the rights holders, including both songwriters and music publishers. The distribution is based on the frequency and popularity of the performances of each composition.

4. Representation of Catalog: Music publishers often represent a catalog of musical compositions, managing the rights and licensing on behalf of the songwriters. They negotiate deals with PROs and other entities to ensure fair compensation for the use of their catalog.

Public performance rights ensure that music publishers, as well as the songwriters they represent, receive compensation for the public use of their works. This includes performances in venues, on the radio, and on television.

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