Free Songwriting Collaboration Agreement

Bill Watson, Nashville Trax music producer Nashville Trax, Play It Again Demos

Music Producer Bill Watson, Nashville Trax

The majority of songs that make it onto Billboard charts are birthed in co-writing situations. Even if you write alone, unless you have clout in the form of previous hit songs, an artist interested in recording your song may insist on a co-writer credit even if their contribution was zero. Refusal to comply will likely end that interest.

Also common is two or more songwriters getting together for a co-write, working up a song. They then pitch it or their music publisher does. .

I highly recommend signing one of these agreements with your co-writer before starting each song. Most likely everyone involved has excellent intentions but time passes, memories are hardly infallible and sometimes each party assumes things the others involved don’t.

If you co-write frequently over many years, you may not even recall who you wrote with on a song, let alone who did what.

If the song is successfully pitched, starts climbing the charts, and produces royalties, you can easily end up in a lawsuit.

This agreement will go a long way towards making sure years after the fact, everyone is literally and figuratively on the same page- b.e.

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This is a basic, simple-to-understand version that has served well over the years. Modify as needed:



Party #1:


Party #2

For the purpose of collaborating on a song titled:

with lyrics written by:

and music written by:

Royalties will be split according to the following percentages: ____ % to Party #1 and ___ % to Party #2 (usually 50/50 or, if more than two parties, usually an equal split).

Any expenses incurred will be at the expense of the party deciding to undertake promotion of this work as they determine to invest on a case-by-case basis. Expenses can not be billed to the other party nor may they be retroactively deducted from future royalties or income in regards to splitting of royalties between the parties in this agreement.

Neither party may interfere with the advancement of the marketing of this work. Either party may grant the right of first release to an artist but must notify the other party that the release was granted. Either party should be notified of any events relating to the advancement of this song material by the other party.

Should another collaborator be required at a future date for the purpose of writing a new arrangement, foreign language lyric. modification for use in an advertising commercial or any other reason, the percentage of royalties for the original collaborators will not be reduced to less than 1/3 of the music portion and will not be reduced at all on the lyric portion without both a written notification to the affected contributor and a signed agreement from them permitting the reduction of royalties.

All income derived from this song should be split according to the percentages noted above, including, but not limited to, income from publisher advances; sales of CD recordings and mp3 file downloads on the Internet; sales derived from mechanical licenses to individual independent artists; third party sales such as through, iTunes and similar sites; music book publishing and sheet music sales; church worship performance; live music performances; movies, television and jukebox royalties; radio airplay royalties and all sales and airplay income from independent and major label record companies.

If either party is dissatisfied with the work produced under this agreement, they may not withdraw their contribution from this work; however, they may re-use their portion, and only their portion of this work or any part of it, in collaboration with a third party to create a new song. Should this occur, the new song will have no legal connection to the song discussed in this agreement.

Any disputes regarding this song and/or collaborators agreement will be settled by a mutually agreeable neutral third party. In lieu of a mutually acceptable third party, disputes will be mediated by an entertainment lawyer w/ the party pursuing the dispute responsible for all legal fees incurred. I have read and understand the terms of this agreement:

Party #1 sign ______________________

Date: ________________

Party #2 sign________________________

Date: _________________