What are mechanical transactions?

The term ‘mechanical royalties’ initially referred to royalties paid whenever a song was reproduced by a mechanical device (remember one of a copyright owner’s exclusive rights is the right to authorize the reproduction of their work).

The term ‘mechanical royalties’ was applied to the reproduction of songs in music boxes, player pianos rolls and, later, phonograph records. This term is still used and ‘mechanical royalties’ now refers to royalties paid for the reproduction of songs on CD, DAT, audiocassette, flexi-discs, musical greeting cards, and other devices sold on a “per unit” basis. Partners pay and take care of mechanical royalties on behalf of labels by deducting them from each sale.

These deductions are not always paid to you or us as a company directly but instead paid out to a Performing Rights Organization. If you are not registered with a specific PRO, money will be held by a PRO until claimed by the original songwriter/artist. We also provide publishing to artists if you wish to claim your royalties from the U.K., U.S. and other regions.

NOTE: Beatport and streaming companies in particular will withhold a piece of any transaction made outside of the USA and will report directly to the Performing Rights Organization within the country however, if we have a direct deal with a Beatport and/or Traxsource to pay the mechanicals directly to us, we will account them on the report following the quarter or month that it is being reported in. For example, we will pay Q216 mechanical transactions on the Q316 report and pay Q316 on the Q416 and so on.

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