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R8R Music Publishing
Mechanical Royalties

A mechanical license grants the rights to reproduce and distribute copyrighted musical compositions (songs) on "phonorecords" (i.e. CDs, records, tapes, and certain digital configurations). Simply stated, if someone wants to record and distribute a song that was written by someone else, or if a business requires the distribution of music that was written by others, you must obtain a mechanical license.

Mechanical rights should not be confused with "master rights" that are granted by a record company in order to use an existing recording, or with "performance rights" that are granted by publishers or societies for the public performance of a song. Depending on the use, one may also have to obtain these rights in addition to the mechanical license.

"Phonorecords" can include:

  • compact discs (CDs)
  • records (vinyl)
  • tape recordings
  • music videos
  • ringtones
  • MIDI files
  • downloaded tracks
  • DVDs, VHS, UMDs
  • computer games
  • musical toys, etc.