Skip navigation links
Businesses and live events
Broadcast and online
Recorded media
Production music
Customer portal

Glossary of terms 

Copyright Control

From the moment a track is written it is protected by copyright law, even if the writer or contributor hasn’t got a publisher and is not a member of MCPS. Where this is the case, a Musical Work (or a share of a musical work if there are several contributors) is said to be in Copyright Control.

Dispute (Account)

A Musical Work is in dispute if more than one publisher or writer is claiming ownership of the song. In these instances, MCPS continue to collect royalties, and hold the money in a Dispute Account, until the matter has been resolved.


A member of MCPS can set up an Exclusion from MCPS of the collection of royalties from the use of their works if they have their own record company that is licensed under AP2.

Mechanical Royalties

Royalties generated from the reproduction of Musical Works.

Musical Works

A musical composition - lyrics and music. For example: ‘Help’ by Lennon/McCartney published by Sony/ATV Music Publishing. Publishers usually control musical works.

Sound Recording

A recording of a musical work. Usually owned by the person/company that paid for and facilitated the recording. For example The Beatles: ‘Help’ owned by EMI Records. Record companies usually control sound recordings.

Performing Right

The performing right is the right to perform a Musical Work or Sound Recording.

Prior approval

Where owners of the copyright in a Musical Work or Sound Recording are requested to approve the use of their music before it is used.

Public Domain

A Musical Work or Sound Recording is in the Public Domain when the copyright has expired. From the date that the copyright expires it is not controlled or owned by anyone. In the UK the songwriter’s copyright lasts for 70 years after their death (musical works) and the recording artist’s copyright lasts for 50 years after their death.

Published Dealer Price/Published Price to Dealer

‘Published Price to Dealer’ or ‘Published Dealer Price’. For the purposes of the AP1, AP2, DVD1 and AVP agreements, this means the highest price payable by any dealer (retailer) without applying any discounts and price reductions etc.


A music publisher is a company that controls and administers the rights in Musical Works on behalf of songwriters and composers.

Record company

A record company is usually the party that pays for or facilitates the recording and release of a Musical Work. A record company is often the owner of a Sound Recording.


Repertoire is the term for a body of musical works.

Retail Price

RP is the price at which a retailer sells a product to a customer.

Statement of Shipment

An ‘SoS’ is a file submitted to MCPS, detailing a list of products that have been moved from a wholesalers or distributors storage facility to a retailer.


The pairing of music with a visual. For example, when a piece of music is used in a Feature Film, the music is synchronised with the film footage. The terms ‘Synchronisation right’ and Synchronisation licence’ apply to the licensing of music in this way.  Common examples of ‘Sync Licensing’ include music licensed for use in TV advertising, feature films and computer games. 

Token redemptions

Providing a product in exchange for tokens – for example a newspaper offering a CD in exchange for five tokens collected during the week, or a cereal manufacturer offering a music download in exchange for codes printed on packaging.

Follow us on M Magazine Twitter Facebook Linked In YouTube
© PRS for Music