In the music business a co-publishing agreement means you contractually assign 50% of your publishing copyright ownership to a music publishing company. Consequently as a songwriter you keep 100% of your songwriter’s share whilst the other 50% of your publisher’s share goes to the music publishing company.

Therefore when it’s all said and done as a songwriter you will generally be eligible to receive 75% of the overall publishing royalties income derived from the following sources:

  • mechanical royalty income (e.g CDs, Vinyl, or sometimes Digital Downloads depending on the contract signed with the record label)
  • print income royalty income (i.e sheet music)
  • synchronization royalty income (otherwise known as “sync royalties”)
  • public performance royalty income (e.g radio, television broadcast, film, nightclubs and concerts)

NOTE: When it comes to music publishing copyrights there are two aspects worthy to remember and those are the songwriter’s share & the publisher’s share. This is why songwriters usually receive 75% of the gross income generated by the music publishing copyright whilst the music publishing company is paid 25% of the gross income generated from the music publishing copyright.

For example, 150 of 200 = 75% gross income from music publishing royalties.

Furthermore, since music co-publishing deals are jointly owned between the songwriter and the music publishing company that means the music compositions will usually be accompanied by the copyright symbol C © showing that the music publishing copyright is owned by two entities.

By the way don’t EVER confuse this with copyright symbol P ℗ which refers to the sound recording copyright (or the master recording copyright)

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