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Legalities

Few people may realize this, but each and every time a song is played on the radio, on television, or even at a sporting event, a royalty is paid to the rights holder of that song. How much of a royalty is paid depends on where the song is played. For example, the use of a song in a commercial, such as the Rolling Stones' “Start Me Up” (for Microsoft Windows 2000) or the Beatles' “Revolution” (for a Nike shoe ad), can generate hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars. On the other hand, a radio station playing a particular song might require a payment of only 16 cents. Whatever the cost, royalties are designed to reimburse the creative people who wrote and performed this music.

Of course, many songs are owned not by the artists who wrote them, but by large corporations. Either way, the money is owed fair and square.


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