One part of a great collaboration is an open and honest agreement on how to share the ownership of the song’s copyright (hint hint: split it evenly if the song was essentially written from the ground up together).
However you land on your splits, having a written document of your agreement is essential.
Here, we offer you a standard written split sheet that you can print and use in your co-writes. Make sure all co-writers sign the sheet, and retain a copy for their records.
Registering the copyright of a work is a different process, but this split sheet gives you a written record of your agreement that you can refer to when it comes time to formalising your splits when registering copyrights.
Songwriting splits are an important part of being a professional songwriter and musician – but what is the best strategy when it comes to royalties and copyright? Well, if you’re the Red Hot Chili Peppers, just split everything evenly (hey, it’s been working for 40 years).
For in-depth discussion on how to determine songwriting splits, check out this video:
Songwriting splits are essentially a division of copyright. It’s where you agree on who is going to own what percentage of the song once it’s complete.
Our basic advice and our basic approach is really to start with 50/50. If you are writing a song with one other person and you’re writing the song from the ground up, you start from a basic assumption that it’s 50/50 and that basic assumption is something you do not revisit: you don’t retroactively change that depending on what happened in the co-write. When you start to quibble about the specifics retrospectively, it is the fastest way to completely end that relationship.
It’s really important to understand that if you’re starting from the ground up, even if it feels like one person did something more than the other, in reality none of it would have happened but for both of you sitting in that room together at that moment in time. And that goes for bands co-writing as well…