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Songwriters: Credit and royalty details

As a songwriter, it's understandable that you like to focus most your time and energy on what you do best — writing songs. Of course, there is a legal side of your professional life that you need to focus on as well. If you don't, you could be faced with a variety of legal issues in the future, some of which can pull you away from what you really want to do.

If you are co-writing music, you and your songwriting partner(s) need to decide up front how credits and royalties will be distributed. It can take some time to get the right agreement in place, but it's well worth it over the long run. The time you spend hashing it out now can save you a lot of stress and legal haggling in the future.

Another thing to consider is registering with performance rights organizations. By doing so, you'll have somebody on your side that monitors a variety of media, ranging from radio stations to websites, to ensure that royalties are being collected and distributed in the appropriate manner. Some of the top organizations include the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers and Broadcast Music, Inc.

Songwriters are special people. They put their heart and soul into every project, hoping to come up with a creative direction that puts the artist in position to succeed. If you work in this capacity, learn as much as you can about credits and royalties. When you focus on this early on, you can move forward with the creation process without the fear that something could go wrong in the future.

Source: FindLaw, "Songwriter Tips for Copyright, Credit, and Royalties," accessed Sep. 08, 2016

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