For Songwriters

Some of the greatest Christian music today is birthed from within our churches. Unfortunately, many of the songwriters, composers and arrangers do not understand how to register, license or distribute their work.  Which means that some of the greatest worship songs being written are not protected, or given the opportunity to bless others through wider distribution.

Risen Music Publishing represents individuals and organizations who have created music for the glory of their Creator.  In addition to championing songwriters by registering, licensing and distributing their songs, Risen Music also serves as an administrator – tracking a song’s usage and seamlessly distributing the resulting royalties. By managing the business side of music, Risen Music Publishing frees writers to focus on their gift… creating music.

For an explanation of the music licensing, registration and royalty process, see the FAQs.

FAQs

What does a music publisher do?

Just as book publishers work with authors, Risen Music Publishing works with songwriters, to protect their creative works and associated rights. We manage the registration, licensing, and royalty collection for Christian songwriters. We can also coordinate collaborations, arrange demo recordings, help package and position song collections with artwork and provide distribution of the songs (including demos, charts, arrangements, etc.) on our web site. Our expansive international network of worship pastors, church leaders and music trend-setters puts your music in the hands of people looking for fresh, new songs.

What does it mean to register a song?

Risen Music Publishing informs the American performing rights societies, ASCAP (American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers) or BMI (Broadcast Music, Incorporated) about your new song and relays the relevant information to them. These entities monitor, collect and pay out ‘performance royalties’ to publishers and songwriters when, for example, your song is played on the radio. Most radio stations and TV networks pay millions of dollars in “blanket license” fees each year to ASCAP and BMI which gives them permission to play any song they want, whenever they choose. It is the role of the performing rights societies to monitor each song played and, in turn, give each respective songwriter and publisher their share (“royalties”) of that collective “blanket license” pot. Most importantly, Risen Music also registers your songs with CCLI (Christian Copyright Licensing International), which monitors the reprint of your lyrics in church settings (for example, putting your lyrics on an overhead screen for worship). Churches pay a “blanket license” fee to CCLI (in the same way radio stations do to ASCAP) to be able to use the worship songs they want to use. Churches periodically report into CCLI the songs they have used; CCLI then doles out the appropriate royalties to publishing companies and artists.

What are royalties?

Royalties are commissions paid to you (and to the publisher) for any third-party usage of your music. This could include a radio station or TV network playing your song, which is called “performance royalties.  Another form of royalties is “mechanical royalties.” If your song has been selected for a commercially released album that is available for sale in retail stores or for legal online downloading, this is covered by mechanical royalties. While performance royalties are dependent upon a song being registered with a performing rights society, mechanical royalties are dependent upon a song being licensed to a record label. The amount of mechanical royalties is determined by how many copies of the album (or the number of downloads of the song) are sold. In the case of both types of royalties, Risen Music Publishing serves as the champion for the songwriters.

What does it mean to license a song?

As stated above in the explanation of royalties, performance royalties are dependent upon a song being registered with a performing rights society, while mechanical royalties are dependent upon a song being licensed to a record label. Part of Risen Music’s role of protecting a songwriter’s rights includes licensing songs with record labels and other potential users of the song. This can even include mobile phone carriers and ringtone sites, to ensure that when your song is used (even for a ringtone), it is used with your permission and with the appropriate royalties distributed to you.

What does it mean to copyright a song?

You can file your songs with the US Copyright Office. This action establishes you as the owner of the work and protects you in case of future dispute.  Go to www.copywrite.gov for more information.

What is the difference between a record label and a publisher?

Record labels and music publishers have distinctly different roles. A record label’s role is to record, produce, market and distribute recordings of a songwriter’s work. A music publisher is responsible for the rights associated with the underlying musical composition. The publisher licenses the musical recording rights to the record label on behalf of the songwriter.

I am not looking to make money. I just want to share my song. Why do I need a publisher?

Protecting your creative work is about more than money. Risen Music Publishing seeks to simultaneously protect original music and give it exposure so other people can experience it. We understand that songwriters have different goals and expectations, which is why we take a customized approach with each one. If you have written some music that you believe would be a blessing to churches, please contact us.