If the sale of your music occurred in the U.S.
Mechanical royalties are included in the payment TuneCore receives from the digital services, which TuneCore then passes on to you. For example, sales on your downloads from iTunes U.S. is inclusive of both master and mechanical royalties. It is your responsibility to allocate and pay out the mechanical royalties that you receive in your payment to whoever owns or controls the underlying musical composition(s), which is usually the songwriter and/or publisher of the work. Please note that you can make multiple withdrawals from your TuneCore account as you please.
If the sale of your music occurred outside of the U.S.
The digital stores may withhold a percentage of your sale that represents the mechanical royalty and pay that amount to a local copyright societies and publishers. The local copyright society and/or publisher is then responsible for remitting mechanical royalties to the appropriate rights holder, which may be you if you own or control your underlying composition(s). Therefore, the money that you receive for download sales outside of the U.S. is generally exclusive of mechanical royalties, unless you use TuneCore’s Songwriter service, then we will provide you these royalties in a separate publishing statement.
If a music service streams your music on-demand
The service will owe for both the master and mechanical royalty due on such usage. This is true for services such as Spotify or Napster, which are both interactive streaming services. Generally, the money that you receive for interactive streaming is exclusive of mechanical royalties because those services pay the mechanical royalties separately to the appropriate rights holders or in the case of international streaming to local copyright societies and publishers. However, if you are a TuneCore Songwriter client, then you will receive these royalties in addition to the master royalties due in a separate publishing statement.
You can look into purchasing a mechanical license for a cover song in the U.S. from The Harry Fox Agency.
GOOD TO KNOW: To make sure that you are collecting all available publishing royalties on compositions that you own or control we've built our TuneCore Publishing Administration to get songwriters (the person or entity that controls the copyright to the lyrics and melody of the song) all their royalties from sales and use of their songs around the world. To learn more about the additional separate royalties you earn as a Songwriter, see our Publishing Administration Help section.