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Mechanical royalties: What are they, and when are they owed?

As long as there are musical artists, there will be a close -- indeed, a razor-sharp -- focus within their industry on royalties.

And that is certainly understandable and an eminently sensible mindset for any creator and owner of music to have, right?

Additionally, the focus on being paid for their intellectual capital and property is something that should logically be appreciated and supported by music lovers everywhere.

For without a monetary incentive to create, there wouldn't be much music across the world to hear. Artistry is usually an all-encompassing and full-time effort. Despite their obvious love of crafting sound and giving birth to new expression, artists don't typically want to provide an important public service for free. They do need to eat and to be otherwise rewarded for their efforts. Fundamentally speaking, music creation is a job.

And thus there are royalties, which duly compensate artists (broadly speaking, persons with ownership rights in music, given that music is often sold or licensed to third parties by original artists) when they perform, when their creations are performed by other individuals and when, additionally, so-called mechanical mediums reproduce protected works.

The concept of a mechanical royalty and how to properly compute it is fairly straightforward, although it has grown progressively tricky in recent years, given evolving technologies.

Essentially, a mechanical royalty is owed when a composition is reproduced in a format such as an album or CD or, alternatively, "streamed" through services like Spotify.

New Internet-based platforms and other mediums can make identifying when a royalty is owed and the amount due a complex proposition.

A proven entertainment lawyer who is well experienced in helping the owners of intellectual property (whether they are original artists, licensees or other parties) receive what they are lawfully owed for their possessed rights can answer questions and provide tailored representation in any royalty-related matter.

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