They generate different royalties.
When a copyrighted song is put in a digital file or on a sound carrier (such as a record, tape, or CD) for the purpose of online music distribution, that is exercising the reproduction right of the song. When your song is reproduced in this manner, you are owed mechanical royalties on each copy.
You also earn mechanical royalties when your music is used on streaming platforms. These royalties are collected and distributed to publishers by such global collection societies as The Harry Fox Agency (USA), CMRRA (Canada), GEMA (Germany), and JASRAC (Japan).
It is also worth noting that a reproduction right is engaged whenever a copyrighted song is embodied in an audiovisual production (such as a film, television program, or commercial), aka a synchronization.
When a copyrighted song is played on the radio or television, or performed in a theater or concert, that’s an exercise of its performance right. The royalties generated in these instances are performance royalties and are collected and distributed to writers and publishers by Performing Rights Organizations (PROs).
For more information on the inherent rights of a copyright holder, check out our blog post here.
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