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Songwriting For Dummies by Cathy Lynn Austin, Jim Peterik, Dave Austin

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Chapter 21

Ten Common Song-Related Contracts You Should Know

In This Chapter

Taking a look at some of the most common contracts

Tackling licenses and agreements

While the right side of your brain is engaged in the creative pursuit of writing a song, challenge the left side and make sure it understands your legal rights and responsibilities. This will ensure that eventually the fruits of your labor will be served properly and you’ll find some peace of mind.

In this chapter, we highlight some of the most common and vitally important contracts that are related to the business side of songwriting. Think of these contracts as your friends. They ensure that you and your hard work will be duly rewarded, your song protected, and the proceeds end up at the correct address — yours of course!

Single-Song Agreement

This agreement is used by music publishers to acquire songs from a songwriter on a song-by-song basis. A copyright assignment of the songs from the songwriter to the music publisher is always attached to this agreement or is included in the verbiage of the actual agreement. Publishers often use this agreement to develop a relationship with a writer before offering an exclusive agreement to that writer.

Exclusive Songwriting Agreement (ESA)

This agreement is used by music publishers to acquire all songs written by a songwriter over a period of time (for example, for a period of three years or for a period equal to the term of an exclusive artist agreement if the songwriter is also ...

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