What will you get from signing with a music publisher?
Exploitation – This is ‘exploitation’ in the most positive sense of the word – placing your songs with other artists, on TV, films, advertising, and anywhere else where music makes money.
Administration – There is a great deal of process and paperwork involved in music publishing. One of the benefits to you as a lone songwriter/ composer for signing a publishing agreement is having this taken care of for you. The most obvious benefit being that you can focus on what you do best (writing songs) and not be held up by the complication that administering copyrights can bring.
Collection – Quite simply, when your music is used by anyone other than you (and even you in most cases) money is usually involved and due to you, as long as licenses are issued to grant permission for the use. A publisher will collect this for you and make sure you get paid everything else that’s owing to you.
Protection – There is so much room for dispute over ownership and rights to copy, distribute etc., when it comes to music so it’s necessary to have proper legal representation in place to protect you and your music. The publisher will take care of this for you as your representative, making sure that not only your rights are not infringed upon, but that you don’t infringe on others’ rights either. Also, if a claim is brought against you or one of your works, they will represent you in bringing about the best conclusion possible.
Acquisition – This is one of the most obvious roles of a publisher but is only possible if all of the other roles are in place and working properly. All publishers seek to grow their catalogue (of musical compositions/ copyrights) over time, balancing this with their ability to administer their existing catalogue and taking care of those on their roster.
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