There are a number of different types of songwriter agreements, and the terms of each agreement will vary depending on the songwriter’s needs and the specifics of the project. However, there are some common elements that should be included in every songwriter agreement. Below are some free-to-use, customizable songwriter agreement templates that can be used as a starting point for negotiation.
Songwriting agreement templates on this page include:
- Standard Songwriter Agreement
- Exclusive Songwriter Agreement
- Songwriting Split Agreement
- Work-for-Hire Songwriting Agreement
- Assignment of Copyright Songwriting Agreement
Each template includes key provisions that should be included in every songwriter agreement, such as:
1. The names and contact information of the parties involved.
2. A description of the work to be created.
3. The term of the agreement and any renewal provisions.
4. The songwriter’s rights and obligations.
5. The compensation to be paid to the songwriter.
6. Any other relevant terms and conditions.
Both the songwriter and the hiring party should review and sign the agreement before any work begins. Once signed, the agreement should be kept on file for future reference.
Standard Songwriter Agreement Template
This is a basic songwriter agreement template that can be used for most projects. It includes provisions for the songwriter to retain all rights to their work, and to be paid a flat fee for their work.
1. The names and contact information of the parties involved in this agreement are ___________ ____________ and ___________ ____________.
2. The work to be created under this agreement is a song entitled ____________ ____________.
3. The term of this agreement will be for a period of _____ months, beginning on __/__/__ and ending on __/__/__. This agreement may be renewed by mutual written agreement of the parties.
4. The songwriter shall be entitled to the following rights with respect to the work: _________________________________________________________.
5. The songwriter shall be compensated at a rate of ___% of Net Sales, payable on a monthly basis. Any advances paid to the songwriter shall be considered as partial payment against future royalties.
6. In the event that the songwriter assigns or licenses any rights in connection with the work, the songwriter shall notify the other party in writing and provide them with copies of any relevant documentation.
7. Any disputes arising out of this agreement shall be resolved by arbitration in accordance with the rules of the American Arbitration Association. The costs of arbitration shall be shared equally by both parties.
8. This agreement constitutes the entire understanding between the parties and supersedes any prior agreements, oral or written, between them with respect to the subject matter of this agreement. This agreement may not be amended or modified except by a written agreement signed by both parties.
9. This agreement shall be binding upon the heirs, assigns, and successors of the parties hereto.
10. Each party to this agreement has had the opportunity to consult with legal counsel prior to its execution and hereby waives any claim that it did not have such opportunity or that the terms of this agreement are unconscionable, unfair, or ambiguous.
11. This agreement shall be construed in accordance with the laws of the State of ____________ and venue for any action brought to enforce its terms shall lie exclusively in the state or federal courts located in that state.
12. The headings used in this agreement are for convenience only and shall have no substantive meaning or be given any legal effect.
13. All notices required or permitted hereunder shall be delivered by email, personal delivery, or by express courier service with tracking ability and shall be deemed received upon actual receipt or three days after being sent, whichever occurs first.
14. This agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original and both of which together shall constitute one and the same agreement.
15. The failure of either party to insist upon strict performance by the other party of any provision of this agreement or to exercise any right provided for herein shall not be construed as a waiver or relinquishment to such party of such provisions or rights in the future. All waivers must be in writing and signed by the waiving party.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this agreement to be duly executed as of the date first written above.
Party 1’s Signature
Party 2’s Signature
EXCLUSIVE Songwriter Agreement Template
This exclusive songwriter agreement template should be used when the hiring party wants to have exclusive rights to the work being created. It includes provisions for the songwriter to transfer all rights to the work to the hiring party, in exchange for a higher fee.
You may add clauses from the standard songrwriter contract where necessary.
1) Songwriter agrees to exclusively write songs for __________ (record label, artist, production company, etc.) for a period of ____ years.
2) Songwriter will receive a $____ advance upon signing this contract.
3) Songwriter will be paid a royalty of ___% on all sales of recordings containing their songs.
4) Songwriter shall have the right to record and release their own versions of any songs written pursuant to this contract.
5) In the event that the Songwriter breaches this contract, they will be liable for damages in an amount to be determined by a court of law.
6) This contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of _____.
7) The parties hereby agree to submit to binding arbitration in the event of a dispute under this contract.
8) This contract contains the entire agreement between the parties and no modification shall be made except in writing signed by both parties.
9) This contract shall be binding upon the heirs, executors, and administrators of the Songwriter.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
Party A (Songwriter) Party B (Record Label, Artist, Production Company, etc.)
Songwriting Split Agreement Template
This songwriting split agreement template should be used when two or more songwriters are collaborating on a project. It includes provisions for each songwriter to retain rights to their individual work, and to be paid a share of the total fee for the project.
1) Songwriters __________ and __________ agree to collaborate on the writing the song(s) entitled _________________.
2) Each songwriter agrees to retain the rights to their individual work, and to be paid a share of the total fee for the project based on their contribution percentage.
3) In the event that one songwriter breaches this agreement, they will be liable for damages in an amount to be determined by a court of law.
4) This contract shall be governed by the laws of the State of _____.
5) The parties hereby agree to submit to binding arbitration in the event of a dispute under this contract.
6) This contract contains the entire agreement between the parties and no modification shall be made except in writing signed by both parties.
7) This contract shall be binding upon the heirs, executors, and administrators of each party.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties have executed this Agreement as of the date first above written.
Party A (Songwriter) Party B (Songwriter)
Date: _________________________ Date: _________________________
Work-for-Hire Songwriting Agreement Template
This work-for-hire songwriting agreement template should be used when the hiring party wants to have all rights to the work being created, and the songwriter will not retain any ownership rights.
This agreement template can be used for a variety of songwriting services, such as: writing lyrics, composing music, or both.
This agreement template includes provisions for the following:
- Services to be provided
- Rights granted to the hiring party
- Payment terms
This work-for-hire songwriting agreement (“Agreement”) is made between _________________________ (hereafter “Hiring Party”) and _________________________ (hereafter “Songwriter”).
1. Services to be provided. The Songwriter agrees to provide the following services: ____________________________________________________.
2. Rights granted to the Hiring Party. The Hiring Party shall have all rights, title, and interest in and to the Work, including without limitation the exclusive right to use, copy, modify, publish, perform, transmit, and distribute the Work throughout the world in any medium now known or hereafter devised. The Songwriter shall have no right whatsoever with respect to the Work except as expressly granted herein.
3. Payment terms. The Hiring Party shall pay the Songwriter for the services rendered hereunder an amount of $____________ (hereafter “Fee”). The Fee shall be paid as follows: __________________________________. All payments shall be made in U.S. dollars unless otherwise agreed in writing by both parties.
4. Ownership. The Songwriter hereby assigns to the Hiring Party all of its right, title and interest in and to the Work, including without limitation all copyright interests therein, effective upon payment of the Fee as set forth hereinabove. This assignment includes but is not limited to any copyrights arising from future derivative works based on or incorporating the Work. In addition, the Songwriter waives all moral rights it may have in and to the Work notwithstanding any contrary provisions of law or any purported agreements between the parties thereto.
5. Miscellaneous Provisions. This Agreement constitutes the entire understanding of the parties with respect to its subject matter and supersedes all prior agreements and understandings between them whether oral or written. This Agreement may be amended only by a writing signed by both parties hereto. No failure or delay on either party’s part in exercising any right hereunder shall constitute a waiver thereof or of any other right hereunder.
If any provision of this Agreement is held invalid or unenforceable by a court of competent jurisdiction, such provision shall be severed from this Agreement and replaced with a valid and enforceable provision that comes closest to expressing the intention of the parties hereto, and the remaining provisions of this Agreement shall remain in full force and effect.
This Agreement will be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of ___________________ without regard to its conflict of law principles. Any legal action or proceeding arising out of this Agreement shall be brought exclusively in a court located in ___________________, and each party hereby irrevocably submits to the personal jurisdiction and venue thereof. The prevailing party in any litigation concerning this Agreement will be entitled to recover all reasonable attorneys’ fees, costs and expenses incurred therein from the other party.
Each party acknowledges that it has read and understands this Agreement, and that it is the complete and exclusive statement of the parties’ agreement with respect to the subject matter hereof which supersedes any proposal or prior agreement oral or written, and all other communications between the parties relating to the subject matter hereof.
This Agreement may be executed in counterparts, each of which shall be deemed an original, but all of which together shall constitute one and the same agreement. A facsimile or electronic signature shall have the same force and effect as an original signature.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, the parties hereto have caused this Agreement to be executed as of the date first set forth above.
Hiring Party: _________________________
Assignment of Copyright Songwriting Agreement Template
This assignment of copyright songwriting agreement is used when a writer or composer of a song transfers the copyright ownership to another person or entity. This agreement is typically used in the music industry when a record label wishes to own the copyright of a song written by an independent artist.
This assignment of copyright songwriting agreement (the “Agreement”), is entered into as of __________, between ____________ (the “Writer”) and ____________ (the “Recipient”).
The Writer hereby assigns, transfers, and conveys to the Recipient all right, title and interest in and to the copyrighted work entitled ___________ (the “Work”), including without limitation the exclusive copyright thereto. This assignment includes, but is not limited to, the Writer’s right to prepare derivative works based on the Work.
The Recipient accepts the assignment of copyright set forth herein agrees to protect and defend the copyright in the Work against any unauthorized use or infringement.
Songwriter Agreement FAQs
- What Is the Purpose of A Songwriter Agreement?
- What Is the Writers’ Role in A Songwriter Agreement?
- What Is the Recipients’ Role in A Songwriter Agreement?
- What Are the Benefits of A Songwriter Agreement?
- What Are the Risks Associated with A Songwriter Agreement?
What is the purpose of a Songwriter Agreement?
A Songwriter Agreement is a contract between a writer or composer of a song and another person or entity, in which the copyright ownership of the song is transferred to the latter. This agreement is typically used in the music industry when a record label wishes to own the copyright of a song written by an independent artist.
What is the Writers’ role in a Songwriter Agreement?
The writers’ role in a Songwriter Agreement is to grant the copyright ownership of their song to the other party. This means that the writer will no longer have any control over how the song is used, and will not receive any royalties for its use. The writer may, however, be entitled to a one-time payment for the sale of the song’s copyright.
What is the Recipients’ role in a Songwriter Agreement?
The recipient’s role in a Songwriter Agreement is to receive the copyright ownership of the song. This means that the recipient will have control over how the song is used, and will receive all royalties for its use. The recipient may also be required to pay the writer a one-time payment for the sale of the song’s copyright.
What are the benefits of a Songwriter Agreement?
The main benefit of a Songwriter Agreement is that it allows the writer to sell their copyright for a lump sum payment, rather than receive royalties every time the song is used. This can be beneficial for writers who do not plan on using the song themselves and would prefer to receive a one-time payment.
What are the risks associated with a Songwriter Agreement?
The main risk associated with a Songwriter Agreement is that the writer will lose all control over their song once the copyright is transferred. This means that the writer will not be able to make any changes to the song, or receive any royalties for its use. The writer may also not be entitled to any future payments if the recipient decides to sell the song.