Why Artists May See Very Little Royalties From Yo Gotti’s #DollaFoDolla Challenge

There are two types of copyrights: recording and compositional (or publishing). We’ve already mentioned Equity retains ownership of the recording copyrights (C&P) and now we’ve discovered Yo Gotti retains ownership of the composition.

Now we will learn about the six types of royalty payouts:

  • Streaming Royalties
  • Neighboring Rights (and Royalties)
  • Digital performance royalties
  • Sync Licensing Fees
  • Public Performance Royalties
  • Mechanical Royalties

Owners of the Recording Copyrights can generate master recording royalties and digital performance royalties.

Master Recording royalties are achieved any time a song is downloaded, streamed, or physically purchased.

Digital Performance royalties are earned when the song is played on non-interactive streaming platforms like SiriusXM, Pandora, or similar.

Your distributor or label usually collects your master recording royalties and disperses them to the proper owners. In this case, Equity is listed as the owner. Your Digital Performance royalties are collected and dispersed by nonprofit collective rights organization, SoundExchange.

The owner of the compositional rights, in this case, Yo Gotti, can collect revenue from the remaining four royalty types: performance royalties (when the song is played on the radio or in a public setting), mechanical royalties, print royalties, and micro-sync royalties (when a song is used on Instagram, TikTok, and synced in Youtube videos). If the song is used in an ad or TV show, the compositional rights owner can also receive “sync” royalties.

This leaves us with the promise and fine print provided by Yo Gotti and Equity’s song submission process. The platform promises that Yo Gotti will not receive streaming royalties from platforms such as Spotify, TIDAL, Apple Music, which is true. However, it fails to mention the many different ways he will still be able to make money from your remix. The platform also banks on artists trusting that they’ll honor their word and disperse streaming royalties fairly, but, legally, the artist isn’t entitled to much.

The bright side per The MMF is that an artist or songwriter who assigns their rights may also, if successful, be able to renegotiate contracts at a later date giving them ownership or co-ownership — that’s if you have the financial resources and a good lawyer, of course.

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