Control Your Revenue: Transfer Your Rights

If you have been following the Artists House articles on the TuneCore blog, you know that we are addressing several threads of a musician’s business: copyright, legal, financial, business, production, planning, and marketing. In this article, I’m going to talk about how the revenue streams from your song or recording are created, that is, the “instrument” that takes your rights and turns them into money.

Let’s review: if you render an “original” idea in a tangible form, you are creating a copyright. The second you make your idea tangible, six “exclusive rights” attach to that work, and they are your rights as the author or creator of that work to do with as you wish. 

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COREnered: Q&A with Mika Cole

By Jacqueline Rosokoff

It’s clear from listening to Mika Cole that music is in her blood. Mika comes from a family of singers, songwriters, and instrumentalists who cover everything from Jazz to Opera.  Her own sound is one of soul, her sultry voice blends effortlessly with the strums of her acoustic guitar.  Read on as COREnered talks musical creation and inspiration with this Southern California songstress.

Mika Cole - Everybody Needs Love

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Your Public Performance Rights

By Robert Brode

This week we continue our series on artists’ assets. The series began with Artists House founder, and Grammy Award winning producer, John Snyder’s article entitled, "The Magic of Copyright". This was followed by, “Your First Asset: The Right to Reproduce,” the first in a series of articles that examine the rights an artist is granted upon creation of a copyright, and how these rights relate to licenses.

We now move to another of the six exclusive rights granted to an artist when they create a copyright: the right to perform the copyrighted work publicly. One key point of this article, as it relates to your overall sustainability as an artist, is that you must affiliate with a Performance Rights Organization (PRO) in order to avail yourselves of the financial and other opportunities associated with the exclusive right of public performance. The three dominant PROs in the United States are:


Below you will find an explanation of what exactly these PROs do, and how they relate to your work as an artist, but, again, in order to benefit from your public performance right, you must affiliate with one of the three.

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Your First Asset: The Right to Reproduce

George Howard is the former president of Rykodisc. He currently advises numerous entertainment and non-entertainment firms and individuals. Additionally, he is the Executive Editor of Artists House Music and is a Professor and Executive in Residence in the college of Business Administration at Loyola, New Orleans. He is most easily found on Twitter at:

My friend and colleague John Snyder, wrote an article entitled "The Magic of Copyright" for this blog a few weeks back. The article brilliantly puts forth the idea that by creating an original work and fixing it in a tangible form (writing it down or recording it), you not only immediately and automatically create a copyright in the work, but you create an asset.

In an era of artists needing to become self-sufficient, and decrease (cease) their reliance on labels for success, it's crucial to begin thinking in terms of assets; they are what you have in order to generate the revenue needed to build a self-sustaining career in the music business….on your own terms!

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