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Economic rights

3 min read

What are economic rights?

Economic Rights grant creators and other rights holders control or payment for the commercial exploitation of their works, performances and sound recordings.

What are Economic Rights?

Economic rights are either:

  • - which means the use of a , or requires the authorization of the , therefore the rights holders can determine the terms and conditions under which they agree, or not, to the use. Rights holders can manage themselves or assign to manage some of their exclusive rights on their behalf.

  • - which means need to pay for a from the local CMO, where the musical work or sound recording is used, but they do not require the authorization of the individual rights holders. Only CMOs may manage those rights, not individual rights holders.

This varies from country to country. But the bottom line is economic rights allow and other rights holders to make money when a musical work, performance, or sound recording is used.

Economic rights include the rights of , , , , , and .

This is the legal terminology, but the music industry uses different terms. We will describe music creators and industry rights based on business terminology and explain how these rights apply to different uses of musical works, performances, and sound recordings under .

See our Common Music Industry Rights page for more information.

Exclusive rights can be or to other people or companies. For example, if songwriters transfer their rights to a or authorize the use of their musical works.

Most cannot be transferred or waived and can only be managed by CMOs.

Learn more about this on the Rights Transfer, Assignment, and Licensing pages.

Which music creators have economic rights?

and sometimes music publishers have economic rights with respect to their musical works; have economic rights on their performances; and companies or individuals responsible for the recording, sometimes called , who can be , or , have economic rights on their sound recordings.

Image credit: Martin Fabricius Rasmussen