Royalties are basically an agreed sum of money paid to an owner in lieu of using their property or assets. For example royalties are paid towards the owners of copyrights, patents , franchise or natural resources by the users. The owner of copyright, licence, patents and so on receives a sum of money from all users who want to gain monetary income by using it.
To understand this better let’s look at the example of royalties in the music industry. The performing artists, songwriters, music directors and producers all work hard for a song. The song is released in CDs , cassettes and is also available online .But the question arises how do the royalties get distributed? The performing artists, the song writers and publishers get a portion of the profit earned through sales. However during public performances, television or radio broadcasting of the song, only the songwriters and the publishers receive royalties while the performing artists do not get any royalties.
Mechanical royalties are royalties paid to the author for any form of distribution of a copyrighted idea, article, asset or art.This royalty is valid for both conventional sales like purchase of CDs, cassettes, paper-books, postcards etc as well as for online downloads.
Public performance royalties
This type of royalty is mainly in use in the entertainment businesses. This is basically paid for performing, recording, streaming or viewing copyrighted work . This can include telecasting in radios or televisions, performing in live concerts, online streaming services and so on.
There are a number of agencies that look over this kind of royalty payments. For example Performance Rights Organisation (PRO) collect royalties for public performance. Such organisations like ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are responsible for negotiating rights public performance rights. They are to collect and distribute royalties to all rightful owners.
A synchronisation royalty comes to play when an original audio is synchronised with a video or vice-versa. Synchronisation royalties are only valid in the United States of America. Sync royalties allow for artworks or assets to be used in commercials, video games, televisions or other types of media. However a synchronisation licence doesn’t allow for an existing synchronised media to be used or reused for any other purpose.
Print royalties are a sum an author for receives of an original copyrighted piece to be reproduced on paper. This may include lyrics of a song, or the line of a book. The royalties are paid based on the number of reproduced copies.