Mechanical Royalties are earned through the reproduction of copyrighted works in digital and physical formats. Songwriters are paid mechanical royalties per song sold, downloaded and on certain digital formats. The standard mechanical rate for sales is set by the US Copyright Office and is called the statutory rate. Although the terms "mechanical" and mechanical license have their origins in the piano rolls on which music was recorded in the early part of the 20th century, the scope of their modern usage is much wider and covers any copyrighted audio composition that is rendered mechanically (i.e., without human performers). As such, it includes: Compact discs, vinyl records and tape recordings, music videos, ringtones, MIDI files, downloaded tracks, DVDs, VHS, UMDs, computer games, musical toys etc.
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