* songwriter co-publishing and administration agreement *
bigbonthabeat
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#1
8th May 2010
Old 8th May 2010
  #1
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* songwriter co-publishing and administration agreement *

I was planning on submitting some material exclusively to Indigi Music. The contract that was sent to me was called a "SONGWRITER CO-PUBLISHING AND ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENT".

Does anyone have experience with something like this? I would like to hear everyone's opinions! thanks!
#2
9th May 2010
Old 9th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbonthabeat View Post
I was planning on submitting some material exclusively to Indigi Music. The contract that was sent to me was called a "SONGWRITER CO-PUBLISHING AND ADMINISTRATION AGREEMENT".

Does anyone have experience with something like this? I would like to hear everyone's opinions! thanks!
sounds like a "re'titling" thing which is common for smaller (majority) of music library's.
Basically they "re- title" the song as them as the publisher you keep the publishing on the original then they work a deal on split and do the administration of the re titled songs so they can "control" it.(collect the license, synch fees etc..)

Personally it all sounds illegal, but its done all the time.Read the fine details before signing anything.

BP
bigbonthabeat
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9th May 2010
Old 9th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ButchP View Post
sounds like a "re'titling" thing which is common for smaller (majority) of music library's.
Basically they "re- title" the song as them as the publisher you keep the publishing on the original then they work a deal on split and do the administration of the re titled songs so they can "control" it.(collect the license, synch fees etc..)

Personally it all sounds illegal, but its done all the time.Read the fine details before signing anything.

BP
thanks for your response , but this isn't re-titling. This is different. Retitling does not require this contract. This is co publishing:

Co-publishing Agreement ("Co-pub"): The co-publishing ("co-pub") deal is perhaps the most common publishing agreement. Under this deal, the songwriter and the music publisher are "co-owners" of the copyrights in the musical compositions. The writer becomes the "co-publisher" (i.e. co-owner) with the music publisher based on an agreed split of the royalties. The song writer assigns an agreed percentage to the publisher, usually (but not always), a 50/50 split. Thus, the writer conveys ½ of the publisher's share to the publisher, but retains all of writer’s share. In a typical "75/25 co-pub deal," the writer gets 100% of the song writer’s share, and 50% of the publisher’s share, or 75% of the entire copyrights, with the remaining 25% going to the publisher. Thus, when royalties are due and payable, the writer/co-publisher will receive 75% of the income, while the publisher will retain 25%.

I was just wondering if anyone had experience with this and what they liked and disliked about it.
bigbonthabeat
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11th May 2010
Old 11th May 2010
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anyone ?
#5
12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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All I can say is it beats the crap out of the not-so-long-ago Bad Old Days when the publisher took 100% of the publishing share, the 'Colonel Tom Parker' deal with the writer.

Insofar as a music publisher is effectively acting as a sales agent for a songwriter's product, 25% would be considered high as an agent's fee in a lot of other professions (acting, book publishing, etc.) but if your publisher has a good track record for getting covers and syncs, it could be worth it.

Sonny Keyes
Ricochet Audio
Toronto
#6
12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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Bryson

A 50/50 split on co-publishing seems a bit "last century" to me, unless the Publisher only wants you as a "shelf signing", in which case they think they'll only get a few good songs out of you.

It is becoming more common for these splits to go 60/40, 70/30 and as stated above, 75/25 in favour of artists. Although it's dependant on how much "weight in the market" the artist is perceived to have.

Obviously I can't claim to be an authority on business deals in the US music industry although I've lived, toured and worked there, but these deals tend to be similar wherever you go in the world.

Regards RAy
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12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbonthabeat View Post
thanks for your response , but this isn't re-titling. This is different. Retitling does not require this contract. This is co publishing:

Co-publishing Agreement ("Co-pub"): The co-publishing ("co-pub") deal is perhaps the most common publishing agreement. Under this deal, the songwriter and the music publisher are "co-owners" of the copyrights in the musical compositions. The writer becomes the "co-publisher" (i.e. co-owner) with the music publisher based on an agreed split of the royalties. The song writer assigns an agreed percentage to the publisher, usually (but not always), a 50/50 split. Thus, the writer conveys ½ of the publisher's share to the publisher, but retains all of writer’s share. In a typical "75/25 co-pub deal," the writer gets 100% of the song writer’s share, and 50% of the publisher’s share, or 75% of the entire copyrights, with the remaining 25% going to the publisher. Thus, when royalties are due and payable, the writer/co-publisher will receive 75% of the income, while the publisher will retain 25%.

I was just wondering if anyone had experience with this and what they liked and disliked about it.
Uh, if this company specifically licenses music for use in TV/Film then yeah, this contract is for a retitling deal unless it is an exclusive deal (meaning you can't give the music to any other company). retitling is officially known as "Repurposing".

in music libraries, these deals can vary a lot and do not parallel music publishing deals offered to bands/artists/songwriters. So most of what you will read in music industry books about publishing only partially applies.

Also, the most important part of the deal IS NOT how royalties are split. It's how the licenses are split. Just because you have a 75/25 copub deal on the royalties DOES NOT MEAN you automatically get 75% of the licensing. Most of the time you will only get 50% of the license and sometimes the contract wills state that you only get 25% of the license or maybe even none.

Not to be rude here... but you shouldn't be asking these questions on an internet forum and expecting definitive answers to your situation. You ABSOLUTELY NEED an entertainment attorney that specializes in copyright and intellectual property agreements... and one that also has experience in TV/Film would probably be the most ideal.

One thing I should also point out. Every company is different based on what markets they are rooted in. Some companies might not pay you any money up front but do the 75/25 royalty and 50/50 license split with you. Other companies might pay you an upfront fee, but then take all the publishing and all the licensing. Does that automatically mean you will make less money from the second type of deal? Not necessarily. Conversely, just because someone is giving you 75/25 and 50/50... doesn't mean you'll make a lot of money. The track still has to get "picked" for placement by the client.

Also look in the contract to see how blanket licenses, buyouts and barter deals are handled. What is the length of the publishing deal? What happens after the deal expires? What happens in the event that the publishing company is sold to another company? What happens to your music and/or your ownership at that point? A good example of this is, what if a royalty-free music library buys the library you are putting music into... all of a sudden your 75/25 goes "poof!"

This is why you absolutely and unquestionably need an attorney to look over the contracts for you, explain what they mean, and explain what you are leaving yourself open to. Just changing the wording of a phrase in the contract can be the difference between you making money and you getting screwed. Do you really want to trust that to people that legally aren't allowed to practice law or give legal advice (none of us have passed the bar exam, have we?)? Get a music copyright lawyer, the money you spend on the laywer will be pocket change compared to the money you make off your music, right?
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12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ray_subsonic View Post
Bryson

A 50/50 split on co-publishing seems a bit "last century" to me, unless the Publisher only wants you as a "shelf signing", in which case they think they'll only get a few good songs out of you.

It is becoming more common for these splits to go 60/40, 70/30 and as stated above, 75/25 in favour of artists. Although it's dependant on how much "weight in the market" the artist is perceived to have.

Obviously I can't claim to be an authority on business deals in the US music industry although I've lived, toured and worked there, but these deals tend to be similar wherever you go in the world.

Regards RAy
Just to reiterate, a 75/25 IS a 50/50 co-publishing deal. So what you are saying doesn't quite make sense because you say it seems "last century" and then you say it is common now.

a 100/0 publishing deal is a 50/50 split on the royalties. A 50/50 publishing deal is a 75/25 split on the royalties.

This whole thing gets confusing because the PRO's like to separate the "writers" share and the "publishers" share. But legally these two divisions don't really exist. It's one big pie. 50% goes to the writer and 50% goes to the publisher. The PRO's call the 50% that goes to the writer "100% of the writers share" and the 50% that goes to the publisher "100% of the publishers share". And that is what causes all sorts of confusion. Because a co-publishing deal ONLY deals with the half allocated to publishing.
#9
12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Get a music copyright lawyer, the money you spend on the laywer will be pocket change compared to the money you make off your music, right?
Hear Hear!

Sonny Keyes
Ricochet Audio
Toronto
bigbonthabeat
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12th May 2010
Old 12th May 2010
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Etch-A-Sketch View Post
Uh, if this company specifically licenses music for use in TV/Film then yeah, this contract is for a retitling deal unless it is an exclusive deal (meaning you can't give the music to any other company). retitling is officially known as "Repurposing".

in music libraries, these deals can vary a lot and do not parallel music publishing deals offered to bands/artists/songwriters. So most of what you will read in music industry books about publishing only partially applies.

Also, the most important part of the deal IS NOT how royalties are split. It's how the licenses are split. Just because you have a 75/25 copub deal on the royalties DOES NOT MEAN you automatically get 75% of the licensing. Most of the time you will only get 50% of the license and sometimes the contract wills state that you only get 25% of the license or maybe even none.

Not to be rude here... but you shouldn't be asking these questions on an internet forum and expecting definitive answers to your situation. You ABSOLUTELY NEED an entertainment attorney that specializes in copyright and intellectual property agreements... and one that also has experience in TV/Film would probably be the most ideal.

One thing I should also point out. Every company is different based on what markets they are rooted in. Some companies might not pay you any money up front but do the 75/25 royalty and 50/50 license split with you. Other companies might pay you an upfront fee, but then take all the publishing and all the licensing. Does that automatically mean you will make less money from the second type of deal? Not necessarily. Conversely, just because someone is giving you 75/25 and 50/50... doesn't mean you'll make a lot of money. The track still has to get "picked" for placement by the client.

Also look in the contract to see how blanket licenses, buyouts and barter deals are handled. What is the length of the publishing deal? What happens after the deal expires? What happens in the event that the publishing company is sold to another company? What happens to your music and/or your ownership at that point? A good example of this is, what if a royalty-free music library buys the library you are putting music into... all of a sudden your 75/25 goes "poof!"

This is why you absolutely and unquestionably need an attorney to look over the contracts for you, explain what they mean, and explain what you are leaving yourself open to. Just changing the wording of a phrase in the contract can be the difference between you making money and you getting screwed. Do you really want to trust that to people that legally aren't allowed to practice law or give legal advice (none of us have passed the bar exam, have we?)? Get a music copyright lawyer, the money you spend on the laywer will be pocket change compared to the money you make off your music, right?
thanks for this post, it definitely gives me something to think about. I wasn't going to make a decision based on what people on the internet say. I just wanted to see if I could get some info on here as a starting point.

thanks thumbsup
#11
23rd May 2011
Old 23rd May 2011
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Similar Question

Alright, I need opinions because I'm self-represented and young and completely in the dark even understanding.

Offer:
- 3 tracks, one Christmas track (preferably a cover), one cover track (can be originally from any genre as long as the song is known by the general public), one original track
- $1k advance
- 18% royalty on the original track, Christmas and cover tracks are all in
- 50% split on publishing for the original track
- 50% split on synch or 3rd party licenses for original track

Let me know thoughts!!

-Kaia
#12
25th May 2011
Old 25th May 2011
  #12
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Kaia, I think we need to know a little more about what kind of project it is before we can tell you whether that seems reasonable.

Sonny Keyes
Ricochet Audio
Toronto
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