Unlike Master Ownership which refers to the actual recording of a song, Copyright Ownership (also known as "Publishing") refers to the composition of a song i.e. music and lyrics.
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There are two primary elements which make up Copyright Ownership:
Writer - if you have created the music and/or lyrics of a song, you are the writer, with your share defined by a percentage.
Control - refers to whoever has control of the copyright for any particular territory. If you are self-published, you Control 100%. If you are published, you have assigned Control to your publisher.
Note: This should not be confused with Performance Rights Organization "PRO" registration and royalty collection.
Here are a few examples of different configurations of Copyright Ownership:
Sue Anders has written the music and lyrics of a song and is self-published.
- Anders, Sue - 100% Writer
- Anders, Sue - Controls the song
Shelley Hansen has written the music and lyrics of a song and is signed to U.S. publisher, Mayberry Music.
- Hansen, Shelley - 100% Writer
- Mayberry Music - Controls the song
Shelley Hansen and Frank Carter are equal co-writers of a song. Shelley is signed to U.S. publisher, Mayberry Music. Frank is self-published.
- Hansen, Shelley - 50% Writer
- Carter, Frank - 50% Writer
- Mayberry Music - Controls Shelley's 50%
- Carter, Frank - Controls his 50%
Jan Isa and Wally Stamos are co-writers of a song and have agreed on 30% share for Jan, 70% share for Wally. Jan is self-published. Wally is signed to U.S. publisher, Mayberry Music. Mayberry Music has a deal with UK publisher, Silver Music Publishing to represent Mayberry Music's catalog which includes Wally's song for the UK territory.
- Isa, Jan - 30% Writer
- Stamos, Wally - 70% Writer
- Isa, Jan - Controls her 30%
- Mayberry Music - Controls Wally's 70% for the World excluding the U.K.
- Silver Music Publishing - Controls Wally's 70% for Mayberry Music for the U.K. only
- Songtradr only pays those users who are listed as Control parties
- Percentages must add up to 100%