Producing music is a collaborative process, and it's important to have a written agreement in place when working with other producers, musicians, or anyone else involved in your project. This helps protect everyone involved and can help avoid any potential disputes down the road.
In this blog post, we're sharing 6 free music producer contract templates that you can use as a starting point for your own agreements. Be sure to customize them to fit your specific needs, and always have an entertainment lawyer look over them before signing!
6 Different Contract Agreements Between Two Parties (Examples)
There are many different types of music producer contracts, depending on the specific project and the relationship between the parties involved. Here are six examples of contract agreements between two parties that you can use as a starting point to decide what type of contract may be the best fit:
- Confidentiality Agreement
- Work for Hire Agreement
- Master Use License Agreement
- Publishing Agreement
- Co-Writing Agreement
- Co-Production Agreement
1. Confidentiality Agreement Template
This template is designed to protect confidential information that may be exchanged between the two parties. This could include musical compositions, lyrics, sound recordings, and business information.
2. Work for Hire Agreement Template
If you're hiring a producer to create a specific piece of music or work on a project, this template is for you. It outlines the scope of work, compensation, and ownership rights.
3. Master Use License Agreement Template
This template grants the producer the right to use your recording in certain ways, such as on their website or in live performances. It's important to ensure that you retain the copyright to your recordings.
4. Publishing Agreement Template
This contract appoints a producer as your publishing administrator, which gives them the right to collect royalties on your behalf. This is common when producers are also songwriters or composers.
5. Co-Writing Agreement Template
This contract is used when two or more people are working together on a musical composition. It outlines the terms of collaboration, including who will own the rights to the composition and how royalties will be divided.
Confidentiality Agreement Template
This Confidentiality Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into between
(“Producer 1”) and
(“Musician 1”), collectively referred to as the “Parties.”
The Parties agree that during the Term of this Agreement and at all times thereafter, Producer 1 will keep in confidence and not disclose to any person, firm, or corporation any information or material which may be confidential and proprietary to Musician 1, including but not limited to, the following: (a) any and all information pertaining to Musician 1's music composition, music publishing, music recordings, or music business affairs; (b) the identity of Musician 1's music collaborators, music producers, music publishers, or music business partners; and (c) any other information which Musician 1 designates as confidential or proprietary at any time during the Term of this Agreement.
Producer 1 agrees that it will not use such information for its own benefit or the benefit of any other person, firm, or corporation without the prior written consent of Musician 1. Producer 1 further agrees that it will take all reasonable precautions to protect the confidentiality of such information.
Signature Producer 1:
Signature Musician 1:
Work for Hire Agreement Template
This Work for Hire Agreement (the “Agreement”) is made and entered into as of __________, 20___, by and between __________, a __________ (the “Musician”) and __________, a music producer (the “Producer”).
WHEREAS, the Musician desires to engage the Producer to create original music recordings (the “Recordings”) pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein;
NOW, THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual promises contained herein, and for other good and valuable consideration, the receipt and sufficiency of which are hereby acknowledged, the parties agree as follows:
1. Session Work.
The Producer shall record music at such time(s) and place(s) as mutually agreed upon by the parties. Any expenses incurred by the Producer in connection with such recording sessions shall be reimbursed by the Musician promptly upon presentation of an invoice or bill therefor.
2. Ownership of Recordings.
As between the parties, ownership of all copyrights in and to the Recordings shall vest exclusively in the Musician. Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Producer shall be entitled to one-half (1/2) of all royalties payable with respect to exploitation of the Recordings throughout the world. In addition, the Producer shall be granted a royalty-free, nonexclusive license to use and exploit any master recordings embodying the Recordings for any purpose whatsoever.
3. Term and Termination.
This Agreement shall commence on __________ and shall continue until terminated by either party upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party. In addition, either party may terminate this Agreement immediately in the event that the other party commits any material breach thereof which remains uncured for a period of ten (10) days after written notice thereof is given to the breaching party.
4. Representations and Warranties.
Each party represents and warrants that it has full power and authority to enter into this Agreement and that its execution hereof does not violate any other agreement to which it is a party or by which it is bound.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to its subject matter and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings thereof between them. This Agreement may not be amended or modified except by a writing executed by both parties hereto. The waiver by either party of any breach or default hereunder shall not be deemed a waiver of any subsequent breach or default. This Agreement shall be binding upon and inure to the benefit of the parties hereto, their successors and assigns.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have caused this Agreement to be executed as of the date first above written.
Have an entertainment lawyer look this over before using it.
Entertainment Lawyer: _____________________________
Master Use License Agreement Template
This Master Use License Agreement (the “Agreement”) is entered into by and between _________ (the “Artist”) and _________ (the “Producer”).
WHEREAS, the Producer desires to use certain music recordings of the Artist in connection with the production, marketing and/or exploitation of sound recordings, musical compositions, music videos, films, television programs and other audio-visual works (the “Recordings”);
NOW THEREFORE, in consideration of the mutual covenants and agreements herein contained, the parties agree as follows:
1. Grant of Rights.
The Producer hereby grants to the Artist a nonexclusive, worldwide right and license to use, reproduce, modify, perform and display the Recordings for any purpose whatsoever in connection with the exploitation of the Recordings. The Artist shall have the right to grant sublicenses to third parties with respect to any or all of the rights granted hereunder.
2. Credit and Notice.
The Producer shall be prominently credited in conjunction with the Recordings as producer thereof. In addition, a copyright notice in substantially the following form shall appear on or in connection with all commercial exploitation of the Recordings: © 20___ [Producer's name]. All rights reserved.
In consideration for the rights granted herein, the Artist shall pay to the Producer a one-time fee of __________ Dollars ($____).
4. Term and Termination.
This Agreement shall commence on _________ and shall continue in effect until terminated by either party upon sixty (60) days written notice to the other party.
This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties regarding its subject matter and supersedes any prior agreements or understandings between them regarding such subject matter. This Agreement may be amended only by a writing signed by both parties.
If any provision of this Agreement is held to be unenforceable, that provision shall be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable, and all other provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect. This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of _________ without regard to its conflict of law provisions. The parties irrevocably submit to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the courts located in _________ with respect to any disputes arising hereunder.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Agreement on _________.
Publishing Agreement Template
The music producer is hereafter referred to as “Producer” and the musician is hereafter referred to as “Artist.”
2. Recording and Composition
Producer shall record and compose music with Artist, which music may be used in connection with the promotion, marketing, sale, or other exploitation of music by Artist. The parties agree that Producer will exclusively own all rights in and to the music recorded and composed pursuant to this Agreement. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Artist shall have a right of first refusal to record or otherwise commercially exploit any music produced pursuant to this Agreement.
This Agreement shall commence on the date it is executed by both parties (the “Effective Date”) and shall continue in effect until terminated by either party.
Artist shall pay Producer a total sum of _____________ Dollars ($____) for services rendered under this Agreement. This amount shall be paid in ______ installments as follows: _____ on the _____ day of each month beginning on _____ . In addition, Artist shall reimburse Producer for all reasonable expenses incurred by Producer in connection with the recording or composition of music contemplated herein.
5. Ownership Rights
As between Artist and Producer, Producer shall exclusively own all rights in and to the music recorded and composed pursuant to this Agreement, including without limitation the copyright thereto. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Artist shall have a right of first refusal to record or otherwise commercially exploit any music produced pursuant to this Agreement.
Signed on _____________ by:
Co-Writing Agreement Template
This Co-Writing Agreement is made and entered into as of , by and between (“Writer 1”) and (“Writer 2”) (collectively, the “Writers”), with respect to the work entitled (the “Work”).
The Writers intend that this Co-Writing Agreement shall be a complete and exclusive statement of the agreement between them with respect to the Work.
1. WRITING AND OWNERSHIP OF THE WORK. The Writers shall jointly own all rights in the Work, including copyright and any other intellectual property rights therein. The Writers will share equally in any profits derived from exploitation of the Work. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Writer 1 shall have exclusive control over the final version of the Work.
2. DIVISION OF ROYALTIES. The Writers shall divide royalties from exploitation of the Work equally, unless otherwise agreed in writing.
3. TERM AND TERMINATION. This Co-Writing Agreement shall commence on and continue until terminated by either party upon thirty (30) days written notice to the other party.
4. MISCELLANEOUS PROVISIONS. This Co-Writing Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to its subject matter and supersedes any prior agreements between them, whether oral or written. This Co-Writing Agreement may only be amended by a written document signed by both parties. No waiver of any breach of this Co-Writing Agreement shall be construed as a waiver of any subsequent breach thereof. If any provision herein is held to be unenforceable, that provision will be reformed only to the extent necessary to make it enforceable, and all other provisions of this Co-Writing Agreement will remain in full force and effect. This Co-Writing Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of .
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, each party has executed this Co-Writing Agreement as of the date first above written.
WITNESS 1: _____________________________
WITNESS 2: _____________________________
This Co-Production Agreement is made and entered into as of , by and between (“Producer”) and (“Artist”), with respect to the production of music recordings (the “Recordings”).
The Producer and Artist hereby agree as follows:
I. Recording Services.
Producer shall provide Artist with studio time and engineering services necessary to record the music set forth on Exhibit A hereto (the “Songs”). Producer will use its best efforts to complete the recordings within the budgeted amount of .
II. Master Recordings.
The Recordings shall be the property of Producer, but Artist shall have the right to use the Recordings in any manner whatsoever in perpetuity.
III. Composition Rights.
As between the parties, all Songs are works for hire and therefore owned by Producer. Notwithstanding the foregoing, Artist hereby grants to Producer an irrevocable, non-exclusive right and license to use, reproduce, copy, modify, publicly perform, display, distribute and make derivative works of the Songs in any form or medium now known or hereafter developed.
IV. Name and Likeness.
Artist hereby grants Producer the right to use Artist’s name and likeness in connection with the marketing and promotion of the Recordings.
V. Performance Rights.
Artist hereby grants Producer the right to secure performance licenses for the public performance of the Songs on behalf of Artist.
Artist shall be entitled to receive fifty percent (50%) of all net royalties actually received by Producer from any source with respect to the public performance, sale or other exploitation of the Recordings, provided that such amount does not exceed in the aggregate during any calendar year. Any amounts in excess of shall be retained by Producer until recouped, at which time such excess amounts shall be paid over to Artist on a quarterly basis within thirty (30) days following each calendar quarter end date. All sums payable hereunder shall be paid to Artist in U.S. dollars and, if Artist is located outside the United States, such sums shall be paid after deduction of all applicable taxes and fees, including without limitation withholding taxes.
VII. Indemnification; Release.
Artist agrees to indemnify Producer and its affiliates and their respective officers, directors, employees and agents against any claims, damages, losses or expenses (including reasonable attorneys’ fees) arising out of or relating to any breach by Artist of any of its representations or warranties under this Agreement.
a) Entire Agreement/Amendment.
This Agreement constitutes the entire agreement between the parties with respect to the subject matter hereof and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings, whether oral or written. This Agreement may not be amended except in writing signed by both parties.
Any waiver of any provision of this Agreement shall be effective only if in writing and signed by the party waiving such provision.
If any provision of this Agreement is held to be invalid or unenforceable, such provision shall be struck out and the remaining provisions shall remain valid and enforceable.
Producer may not assign any of its rights or delegate any performance under this Agreement without the prior written consent of Artist. Any purported assignment in contravention of this section shall be void. This Agreement will bind each party and its successors and permitted assigns.
e) Governing Law; Arbitration.
This Agreement shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of California without regard to conflicts of law principles. Any dispute arising out of or relating to this Agreement, whether based in contract, tort, statute or otherwise, shall be submitted to arbitration before a single arbitrator in accordance with the Commercial Arbitration Rules of the American Arbitration Association (“AAA”). The prevailing party shall be entitled to recover reasonable attorneys’ fees incurred in connection with such arbitration from the non-prevailing party. Notwithstanding anything herein to the contrary, either party may bring an action for injunctive relief or other equitable remedies in any court of competent jurisdiction.
This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original and both together shall constitute one and the same agreement. Facsimile or electronic (including PDF) signatures will be binding on the parties hereto to the same extent as original signatures.
g) Notice Address.
Any notice required or permitted hereunder shall be given in writing by personal delivery, courier service, telegram, facsimile transmission or by registered or certified mail (return receipt requested), postage prepaid, addressed as follows:
If to Artist: [Name], at [Address]
If to Producer: [Name], at [Address]
The headings used in this Agreement are for convenience only and shall not affect the interpretation of this Agreement. The use of the word “including” or variations thereof in these Terms shall be interpreted as if followed by the phrase “without limitation.” This Agreement is jointly drafted by the parties hereto and no ambiguity shall be construed against either party based on its role in drafting this Agreement.
Artist Signature _________________________
Typed or Printed Name: [Name]
Telephone Number: [Number]
Email Address: [Email]
Producer Signature ________________________
Typed or Printed Name: [Name]
Telephone Number: [Number]
Email Address: [Email]
How To Use Thes Free Music Producer Contract Templates
As mentioned above, it is highly recommended that you have a music industry lawyer review any contract before you sign it. You do not need to, but for added protection, we advise it.
You may edit or revise any part of the contract template to fit your specific needs. However, we do advise keeping certain clauses intact, such as the waiver and arbitration clauses.
If you are looking for more music-related contracts, we also have a post on music licensing contracts as well as music manager contracts. You can also download our free resource pack with all of our music industry contracts. These are especially good if you plan on starting your own record label or music publishing company.
Lastly, if you have any questions or need help with music industry contract law, please reach out to an entertainment lawyer.
We hope you found this blog post helpful! If you have any questions, please reach out to us in the comments and share them with anybody who might find this helpful.