Copyright-Legal ownership documents of words and music to a song

Demo-Any type of recording on CD or mp3 that demonstrates the song. A demo can be made with a piano or guitar and one voice singing to demonstrate the melody, or it can be professionally done in a studio if you have the money. Though that is certainly unnecessary.

Licensing Agency-BMI, ASCAP, SESAC. There are only three in the world and they collect only “performance royalties” from air play, video, and live performance of all venues of music.

Lyric Sheet-Typed words of song only. No music, only the words.

Mechanical License– A simple contract from the publisher to the artist stating that the publisher gives the artist a right to record the song and will be responsible for collecting royalties from the sales revenue sources the song may earn. At present the mechanical royalty rate is .12, (12 cents) per unit (Digital Download, CD or video) sold, to the publisher. The publisher then divides this amount. They get half, you get half. Publisher and writer is a marriage and on every document copyright, (publisher owns but you are the Author) mechanical (Right to record), Writers Contract ( Right to publish) and licensing contract (right to collect performance royalties) Publisher and writer are both noted on each and both gets half.

Pitch-A pitch is your taking the song to the artist you would like to record it. To pitch you only need a lyric sheet and homemade demo.

Printed Music-Words and music printed as the song would appear on sheet music or in songbooks.

Project-A CD or Video of 10 or more recorded songs.

Published-It simply means a song has been recorded or printed, or both.

Publisher-One who owns the right to get song recorded or printed and will earn the publishers share of royalties.


A) All revenue collected from sale of project containing your song. Called Mechanical Royalties

B) All revenue collected from Licensing agency from “Air play”. Mostly from Radio play, but occasionally from video and live performance. Called Performance Royalties.

Writer’s Contract-A form sent to you by a publisher that you sign, thereby stating you give that publisher the right to own the song and to earn the publisher’s part of all royalties.