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Co-writing splits and registering your works

Who owns a song? A guide to co-writing splits and registering works

How to decide who owns a song?

Like any good relationship, songwriting collaborations work best when there’s mutual trust and respect. When discussing songwriting splits, it comes down to what co-writers are happy with, and what they think is fair.

Tips on how to approach song splits

Agree – when possible, agree on how to approach the splits BEFORE the writing starts. Jam sessions happen, collaborations can be spontaneous, but always try to discuss splits at the start of the work.

Review – when the song is finished, ensure everyone is happy about their percentage, and the percentage that their co-writers are receiving.

Registering works with APRA AMCOS

Once you have agreement on song split percentages, make sure you register the song with APRA AMCOS asap. This is called a work registration. You can quickly and easily register your works in the APRA AMCOS Writer Portal, or in the APRA AMCOS for Music Creators App.

Don’t wait until the song has been played, performed or released before this happens! You need to register your works before they can earn royalties.

Can song splits be changed after a work is registered?

After a song has been registered with us, we require permission from ALL the co-owners (co-writers AND publishers) to change it. This can prove almost impossible if relationships within bands or between co-witers have broken down. You’ll need to contact us to make changes to a work after it is registered. Email [email protected]