Do Public Domain Arrangements Pay the Same Performance Royalties As Original Works?

Not quite.

Arrangements of public domain works can be registered at your local Performing Rights Organization (PRO), but they will generate substantially less royalties than an original composition

The percentage earned by a public domain work varies based on the PRO you are affiliated with. For example, at ASCAP, public domain works are registered with a relative value of 10% — rather than 100 — for original, non-public domain works. 

At BMI, copyrighted arrangements of works in the public domain (classical and popular) are credited at 20% of the typical performance royalty payment for popular songs. The only exception is live classical concert distribution, wherein no payment is made for performances of public domain arrangements.

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