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What Are Neibouring Rights?

Neighbouring Rights, also known as Performance Rights or Neighbouring Royalties, are a set of rights related to the use of recorded music. These rights are different from the rights of the songwriters and composers (often referred to as "copyright holders") and are specifically related to the performers on a recording and the recording itself.

Here's a simple breakdown on how they differ:



Songwriters, Composers, Music Publishers

These are the individuals who create the musical composition, including the melody and lyrics of a song.


   • They hold the copyright to the composition, which gives them the exclusive right to control how their music is used, reproduced, and distributed.

   • When their song or composition is performed, streamed online, broadcast, or sold, they earn royalties based on their copyright.

   • These copyrights can be sold in full or licensed for a period of time. Often to a music publisher.



Performers, Record Labels

These are the individuals who actually perform and record the music. This is considered anyone with an audible contribution to a recoridng and can include singers, musicians, and other audible instrumental contributors.

   • Record labels are the companies that pay for the production of recordings and are responsible for the distribution of the recorded music.

   • Neighbouring Rights pertain to the rights of performers and record labels over the actual recording of the music.

   • When a recorded song is played or boradcasted in public, like on the radio, retail spaces, sports arenas etc, the performers and record labels are entitled to certain payments, often referred to as Neighbouring Rights Income (NRI).

   • In some territories, performers and rights holders will also be awarded Neighbouring Rights Incomes for digital streaming of the recorded music.

In essence, Neighbouring Rights ensure that the people who perform the music and the entities that invest in producing and distributing the recordings receive compensation when those recordings are used in various ways. These rights recognize the effort and investment that performers and record labels put into creating and promoting music.


Neighbouring Rights are recognized and managed differently in various countries, and there are organizations and collecting societies that help collect and distribute these royalties to the eligible parties. It's a complex but essential part of the music industry, helping to ensure that all those involved in bringing recorded music to listeners receive their fair share of the earnings generated by their work.

The 3 Types of Performer

When it comes to crediting and compensating artists who contribute to audio recordings, there are three terms commonly used in the music industry:


1. Contracted Featured Artist

2. Other Featured Artist 

3. Non-Featured Artist


These three terms help define the roles and contributions of different artists involved in a recording.


Here's what each term generally refers to:

The best thing to do here, is use an example.

Let's take a look at the recording 'Love Me Harder' by Ariana Grande Ft. The Weeknd.



A Contracted Featured Artist is most commonly the main performing artist on the recording whose name and reputation contribute significantly to the marketability and appeal of the recording. This can be an artist who has a legally binding contract or agreement with the record label or producer to contribute vocals or other significant musical elements to a recording. They may also be artists who are featured prominently in marketing materials and play a central role in promoting the song.

In this example, Ariana Grande (recording artist) would be the Contracted Featured Artist.



An Other Featured Artist refers to an artist who contributes to a recording but doesn't have the same level of prominence or contractual obligations as the Contracted Featured Artist. These artists might provide additional vocals, instrumental performances, or other creative contributions that enhance the overall sound of the recording. Their contributions, while valuable, might not be the main selling point of the recording.

In this example, The Weeknd (recording artist) would be the Other Featured Artist



A Non-Featured Artist is a performer who makes a contribution to a recording but is not named in the title in any way and is not responsible for any contractual obligations of marketing or distribution of the recording. This often includes session musicians, background vocalists, programmers and other individuals whose contributions are important to the recording's overall sound but are not the primary focus.

In this example Max Martin (programmer) would be the Non-Featured Artist

It's important to note that these distinctions can vary based on industry practices, individual contracts, and the specific nature of the recording.


The roles and credits of artists can also impact matters like royalty distribution and legal rights. Contracts, agreements, and proper crediting are crucial in ensuring that all artists involved are treated fairly and compensated appropriately for their contributions.

That’s why we’re here, to make this easier for you. Making sure you get paid compensated accurately and fairly for your work.

Want to know more?

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