Print rights, one of the six exclusive rights derived from music copyright, pertain to the right to print, publish, or sell sheet music of a copyrighted musical composition. Essentially, this allows the copyright holder to control who can produce and sell sheet music and lyric sheets of their work.
In the early days of the music industry, before recorded music became widespread, print rights were the primary way composers and publishers made money from music. Today, while not as financially significant as they once were due to the prevalence of digital and recorded music, print rights are still an important aspect of music copyright, especially for composers of classical music and Broadway-style show tunes.
Like the other exclusive rights derived from music copyright – the rights to reproduce, distribute, perform publicly, display publicly, and create derivative works – the print rights can be sold, transferred, or licensed to others by the copyright owner.
For a deeper understanding of this and related topics, including the other exclusive rights derived from music copyright, please refer to the Copyright page on Wikipedia. More detailed information can be found under the separate glossary term “copyright“.