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Songwriting -- SMP Hot Links Supreme Join SMP
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Copyright -- SMP Hot Links Supreme

A poetic musical composition that contains instrumental music and singing combined. See Cross-links: COMPOSITION, MATERIAL, SINGER, JINGLE, HOOK, CHORUS, BRIDGE, TITLE, GRAMMY, MUSIC PUBLISHER under "Song File," MUSIC under "Vocal," "Musical," COPYRIGHT LAW under "Registration of Copyright," and "Literary Works."
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Commercial Song:
A song that has been, or has the potential to be a mass marketed song. See Cross-links: COMMERCIAL, COMMERCIAL RECORDING, HOOK, MARKET.
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Song Access:
To have heard, possessed, visibly observed a copy, or to have had awareness of a song. See Cross-links: PLAGIARISM, COPYRIGHT-BY-MAIL, COPYRIGHT-BY-NOTARIZATION, COPYRIGHT LAW under "Copyright," "Copyrightable Material," and "Infringement of Copyright."
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Song Administration:
The business and financial management of a song, e.g., procuring copyright, assigning and licensing copyright, financial accounting, etc..

In the absence of a written agreement, any of a song's registered co-writers may assign or license the song, i.e., allow someone else to record the song or exploit other rights in the song. Since this could lead to confusion, e.g., where two writers grant the same exclusive license to two separate parties, it is important to have a written agreement between co-writers as to who will be responsible for administering the rights in the song. In most situations the co-writers will assign the rights in administration to a music publisher in exchange for a percent share of the future royalty earnings.

Remember, the right to grant licenses is a right in title. This right is different and separate by law than the right in equity which is a right to the royalties earned by a song. For example, a music publisher may only hold a small 10% right to the royalties in a song while owning 100% of the title, i.e., owning 100% of the right to license the song. And conversely, in this situation the writer(s) may own 90% of the equity while owning 0% of the title (the writer(s) would own 100% of the title at creation of the song under copyright law, but if they have relinquished their right to title via contractual agreement, their 100% in title rights would go to 0%).

In short, it is the title holder who controls the use and disposal of the song. It is the title holder (copyright assignee) who has the right to negotiate and set the price for any use license fee. The title holder is considered, by law, to be the copyright owner, i.e., the legal owner of the rights in copyright to the song.

Along with the right to assign licenses, the writer(s) usually designate the title administrator (music publisher) the right to collect and distribute royalties earned. This relieves the user from having to write several checks to pay all the different parties holding equity in the song he uses.

See Cross-links: COPYRIGHT MANAGEMENT COMPANY, MUSIC PUBLISHER, CATALOG ADMINISTRATION, FINANCE, COPYRIGHT ADMINISTRATION, TITLE, EQUITY, COPYRIGHT PROPRIETOR, COPYRIGHT LAW under "Compulsory License."

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