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Music Publishing Agreement basics

If you want to sign a band or you're being courted by a recording company, a Music Publishing Agreement establishes who gets what share of the profits. Musicians want their tunes to be heard, and music publishing companies want to land the next superstar: both need a Music Publishing Agreement to protect themselves.

Use the Music Publishing Agreement document if:

  • You are a Publisher interested in publishing a musical work for profit by administering and marketing the musical work.
  • You are the Owner of certain musical work looking for a Publisher to publish your work.

A Music Publishing Agreement is the bridge between artistic and business interests. If you're a songwriter, singer, or a band, you'll want to make sure you aren't among the artists who lose out on future payoffs. If you're a manager, you'll want to earn your bread and butter, and if you're a publisher, you'll want your investment to pay off. Make sure the deal is mutually beneficial. A Music Publishing Agreement usually includes an advance payment, as well as terms for paying royalties. There are several common ways to structure royalty payments, so you'll want to agree up front on the terms. Before you sign, determine whether the arrangement gives the publisher exclusive rights to market and sell the music, and whether it applies to a set of work or all compositions created during a specific period. You'll also want to set an end date for the contract.

Other names for this document: Music Publishing Contract

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Sample Music Publishing Agreement

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