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I wrote a song but Im leasing the beat, and Im wondering what is everything i need to do before selling my music online?

Bowie, MD |

I created the lyrics but the instrumental are being leased out by me therefore i dont own it. What do i need to do before selling my music online and having my music played on internet radio so Im doing things the right way and all legally? Thank you!

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Attorney answers 3


It's good you are smart enough to ask about this before you do much.

You need to hire an Entertainment lawyer, preferably a music lawyer, to review your situation and give you strategic recommendations. You simply are not going to get a specific recipe for your situation for free here on Avvo listing everything you need to do. In fact, it would be unethical for us to do that as you are not a client.

As to how the music industry works, how royalties are figured and paid, you might read the book
All You Need to Know About the Music Industry by Donald Passman, which you can buy on Amazon for about $30.

There are two copyrights in music, one for the music composition and lyrics, and a second for the sound recording or performance of that music by a particular artist or group.

Digital downloads and Internet radio have pretty much taken over the music industry and have rendered CDs largely obsolete. This has changed the industry and opened up new opportunities, so be sure you get current information.

Good Luck.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick


For some current information on digital music royalties, you should review what SoundExchange (they handle digital royalties such as for Pandora or Sirius XM) at



Thank you Bruce even though I'm not a client I feel satisfied. This is very helpful advice. Would you by any chance know the cost of a music lawyer?

Kevin M. Washburn

Kevin M. Washburn


attorneys rates vary greatly depending on where they work (both geographically & for whom) as well as experience and other factors. There are at least a few of us on Avvo that handle music related matters. good luck


I agree that you should contact a music lawyer to have them assist you with this as this is far to complex for this site.


First and foremost, you should register your copyright. I would need additional details to give you more advice. I would suggest consulting with an intellectual property attorney and giving them the specifics of your situation so you are thoroughly covered.

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