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Music and Money

Music and Money

MUSIC is an art. It is an art that is also an intellectual property. Not only it entertains, it also makes money. With it, its creators carry certain rights. This right is called Copyright, a subset of an intellectual property. A copyright means a song/recording has the following rights:
1) Mechanical right - right to produce the songs

2) Public Performance right - right to air the songs in public

3) Synchronisation right - right to synchronise the songs into videos whether in films or commercials or even karaokes

4) Print rights - right to put the song into notes on music sheets

5) Grand rights - right to have the song performed in a theatre production.

There are 3 bodies that govern these rights. They are MACP, PPM and PRISM who collect royalties from the copyrights.

MACP started with publishers/songwriters/authors/composers and they collect whenever a song is played - whether through the radio, or even a person singing the song in a pub.

PPM collects for record companies and they collect whenever a song is played - but only for the recording. Meaning, the recording is being played. So they can collect for songs being played on the radio but they can't collect for someone singing in a pub, because that doesn't come from the recording.

PRISM collects for artists who perform in the recordings. Which is why they always attach themselves to PPM - bcause both are based on the recordings - whereas MACP is the song itself, whether in recorded form or not.

The good people at these societies do an extensive sampling process - very much like Nielsen does the radio survey. But of course, if we can give them playlists from the radio and from our TV shows and from live concerts, their distribution would be more accurate.

If you as a songwriter keeps track of your songs, then you can also make sure MACP knows the playlists that you have. Usually the publisher does that for the songwriter.

Yes, if people don't air your songs anymore, you don't get any money. Music is a very REAL revenue earner. People like, you become rich. People don't like, you become poor.

(Credit to Ahmad Izham Omar, a song writer, and also the CEO of film and TV content production house, Primeworks Studio, who has taken the trouble to explain to me this invaluable knowledge)

Johan Ishak
CEO of MyCreative Ventures