Music co-writing agreement

Many songwriters prefer that there be separate administration among the various writers and their respective publishing companies, if any. This article is intended to give the songwriter and music publisher a summary of the basic rights, obligations, structure, duties and scope of the 6 most common agreements that create the bond between a songwriter and his or her music publisher.

Working with co-writers

He told me that his publisher had been setting up co-writing appointments for him with established writers, and that he had some questions on how to approach writing on such a different level. Often this will state that separate agreements must be agreed to at the time a co-written song is submitted.

The foreign subpublishing agreement is similar to an administration agreement. Sloane authored this article with the assistance of Rachel Stilwell.

Co-Writing a Song? Take Care of Business First!

Length of the contract will be discussed before the contract is written. However, each different scenario and the co-writers involved will need to determine and negotiate what arrangement works best for themselves in that particular situation. To avoid conflicts, you need to agree up front on what will happen to copies of tapes, documents, masters etc if the band breaks up.

How will income be shared between co-owners? Dealing with other parties: If you are an artist and want to control licensing to other artists, or want to approve usages, which you may find objectionable, you must have an agreement with the co-writers that either everyone must agree on a particular usage, or you as the artist have the exclusive right to approve usages.

These will state any obligations the writer is under, that the writer is an independent contractor and that confidentiality agreements are in place. Since the copyright in the recording is different from the copyright in the song, a separate agreement should be reached regarding both copyrights.

And that means spelling out the ground rules early, so that everyone knows where they stand and how they will handle decisions about the results of their collaboration.

Who will own copyright in the co-written work and in what proportions?

How to Strike the Right Co-Writer Agreement Between Songwriters

Therefore, without a written agreement the two songwriters would be deemed to own the song fifty-fifty, three songwriters one-third each, etc. A copyright extends for the life of an author plus 70 years, and in the case of collaborators on a copyright it extends for the life of the last surviving collaborator plus 70 years.

Though there are many artists out there that write songs purely for their own enjoyment, songwriting can be, obviously, a very lucrative venture.

How will you deal with other parties: We will also be discussing many of the issues and challenges facing songwriters, composers and music publishers in the physical product and online digital music worlds as well as things that you can do to improve your changes of succeeding in music.Due to popular demand, I have reposted the collection of free music contracts.


We don’t recommend just downloading these and printing out right away – you will still need to download the file you want, and make any changes to reflect your individual purpose.

Music Connection. Published sinceMusic Connection magazine is a monthly music trade publication catering to musicians, industry pro’s, and support services. Songwriter Agreement. Agent Contracts Band Agreements DJ Contracts Manager Contracts though you’ve never even heard their name.

And they exist everywhere in between, writing songs for themselves, co-writing with others, and writing songs just for other people. with the help of a music lawyer, all the language is understood.

Free Music Contracts

When hit. For example, if two people write the music and one person writes the lyrics, they may agree to divide the ownership 25% each for the two music writers, with the lyricist retaining the remaining 50%.

However, if there is no such agreement, each would own % of the song.

DIY Production Music Library

First things first: agree on co-writing terms SO before you strike that first note or write that first word, have an open and honest discussion with your co-writers about the fact that you may be creating something here that you will all have a stake in.

Agree on answers to the following basic questions. The following is a sample songwriting partnership agreement that you might want to use when you are co-writing.

Do you need an agreement? It really is up to you, however some may feel more comfortable knowing that there is something in writing just in case your co-written song makes some money.

Music co-writing agreement
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