Random Thought For The Day – Publishing

Many recording artists, writers and composers underestimate the value of publishing their own music. There is a saying that “publishing is the real estate of the music industry” and by that is attached the value of your publishing of your music. A typical copyright can last for the life of the author plus 70 years, which compared to a CD or record might last in terms of sales for only a year or two. Which would you rather own? I’d rather own the royalties generated from the publishing ownership of a song, i.e. “Happy Birthday,” than owning a recording of that same song. So the message for today is don’t be too quick to write a song, take a writer’s share, and give up your publishing interests. Typically, if two or three or four individuals write a song collectively, they should share their writing and publishing in equal shares, i.e. two people 50/50, three 1/3, 1/3, 1/3, so on and so forth. A simple split sheet, one-page contract, specifying who the writers are and their percentage ownership can really simplify everything. Set forth the names, addresses, song title, and ownership interests and get everyone to sign off. It’s best to do this the day you’re in the recording studio or working on it, rather than trying it some later date to settle who owns what and why. And that’s my random thought for the day. -Lloyd Z. Remick, Esq.”