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)