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What Are Neighboring Rights?
What Are Neighboring Rights?

A quick guide to one of the most common royalty types in the music industry.

Updated over a week ago

Neighboring rights, also known as neighboring rights royalties or performance rights, refer to the rights of performers and master rights owners (usually record labels, but increasingly artists themselves) to receive compensation for the public performance or broadcast of their sound recordings. Unlike traditional copyright, which protects the musical composition (lyrics and melody), neighboring rights focus on the actual recorded performance of a song.

Here are key points about neighboring rights for music artists:

1. Performer's Rights: Neighboring rights provide performers (singers, musicians, etc.) with the right to receive royalties when their performances are publicly played, broadcast, or streamed. This includes performances on radio, television, in live venues, and through digital platforms.

2. Master Rights Owners: In addition to performers, record labels or other entities that own the master recordings also have neighboring rights. They are entitled to receive royalties when the recorded music is publicly performed or broadcast.

3. Collection Organizations: Neighboring rights royalties are collected by specialized organizations that operate in many countries. These organizations negotiate with broadcasters, digital platforms, and other users of music to secure compensation for the use of sound recordings.

4. Distribution of Royalties: Once collected, neighboring rights royalties are distributed to the performers and master rights owners based on factors such as the popularity and frequency of the performances. This distribution is handled by the relevant collection organizations.

5. International Variation: Neighboring rights laws and practices can vary by country. Some countries recognize and enforce neighboring rights, while others may have different approaches to remunerating performers and master rights owners for public performances.

Neighboring rights are an important source of income for performers and record labels, especially in the era of digital music streaming and globalized music distribution. They complement the income generated by traditional copyright (mechanical and performance rights for the musical composition).

Use Mogul to make sure you're getting your fair share!

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