Royalty payment

form of payment for use of artistic works

A royalty payment is a payment made by one party (the payer) to another party (the payee) that owns a particular asset, for the payer's right to ongoing use of that asset owned by the payee. The asset might be physical property or intellectual property. In the case of intellectual property, the payment is made to a writer, composer, inventor, or other originator for the sale or use of intellectual property or invention under applicable copyright or patent laws.

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  • You and I know very well that in nine cases out of ten the author is at a disadvantage because the publisher has capital and the author has not. We know perfectly well that in nine cases out of ten money is advanced by the publisher before the book is producible—often long before. No young or unsuccessful author (unless he were an amateur or an independent gentleman) would make a bargain for having that royalty, to-morrow, if he could have a certain sum of money, or an advance of money. The author who could command that bargain, could command it to-morrow, or command anything else. For the less fortunate or the less able, I make bold to say—with some knowledge of the subject, as a writer who made a publisher's fortune long before he began to share in the real profits of his books—that if the publishers met next week, and resolved henceforth to make this royalty bargain and no other. it would be an enormous hardship and misfortune because the authors could not live while they wrote.
  • This book is to be published under the aegis of a commercial publisher, which means that royalties are involved. But since scientific books generally have a limited audience, a royalty income is minuscule, but young and naive authors have visions of a Mercedes-Benz in the royalty picture. Factually, my last royalty check on a book produced a few years back was forty-six cents! I did not cash it and the publisher wrote me, "Why don't you cash your royalty check." I said it would cost them a dollar to cash that check for forty-six cents but they insisted I do so to meet legal requirements and also to facilitate their bookkeeping!

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