Economic Analysis of Music Copyright: Songwriters and Composers

  • Ivan L. Pitt


The preceding chapter looked at the publishing side of music from a ‘business’ perspective and illustrated the many sources of income for both the songwriter and the publisher. In this chapter, we look at the songwriter from the perspective of creative and business processes involved in making music. The creative process for a songwriter starts with the song and will involve many months of intense planning, writing, and rewriting. In the highly competitive music industry, it can be challenging to produce songs that are sufficiently distinctive, original, unique, and inspirational that consumers will love, want to purchase, and the record labels can easily market. The songwriter, composer, or lyricist will be collaborating with many others including other writers, the record labels, music managers, agents, producers, attorneys, sound studio owners, and publishers to produce and market a song. Once a song has been recorded, released, and registered with a PRO, the songwriter/composer then expects a flow of income from the performance rights attached to the composition. In this monograph we sometimes treat the author, composer, and lyricist as a single entity, calling him or her a songwriter; however, the division of labor can be distinct, but in a collaborative fashion.


Type Song Sound Recording Copyright Holder Music Genre Music Industry 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.American Society of Composers, Authors and PublishersNew YorkUSA

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