Music publisher contracts

Drawing up a music publisher contract

Koda cannot supply examples of how a music publisher contract may be drawn up. We urge music publishers and/or authors looking for such information to contact one of the music organisations with experience within the field.

Koda cannot supply examples of how a music publisher contract may be drawn up. We urge music publishers and/or authors looking for such information to contact one of the music organisations with experience within the field. Examples include DJBFA (Danske Jazz-, Beat- og Folkemusikautorer www.djbfa.dk), DPA (Danske Populærautorer, www.dpa.org), DKF (Dansk Komponistforening www.komponistforeningen.dk), Musikforlæggerne www.musikforlaeggerne.dk, DAF (Dansk Artist Forbund www.artisten.dk), and DMF (Dansk Musiker Forbund www.dmf.dk). 

In order to ensure that the rights are properly managed and that registration of the works is correctly submitted to Koda, the following issues should always be covered by the contract between author and publisher:

  • The names of the author and music publisher
  • The works included in the scope of the contract
  • The music publisher's share
  • The duration of the contract
  • Territory (in what countries/regions does the music publisher have rights)
  • The size of the total publishers’ share in the event of any sub-publisher involvement
Sub-publishing agreements between two music publishers

Entering into a sub-publishing agreement is a matter between the two music publishers. Koda cannot get involved in the contents of such agreements, nor can we offer any legal advice, for we represent both parties in our work.

We urge music publishers looking for advice or information to contact one of the music organisations with experience within the field. Examples include DJBFA (Danske Jazz-, Beat- og Folkemusikautorer, www.djbfa.dk), DPA (Danske Populærautorer, www.dpa.org), DKF (Dansk Komponistforening,www.komponistforeningen.dk), Musikfolæggerne www.musikforlaeggerne.dk, DAF (Dansk Artist Forbund, www.artisten.dk), and DMF (Dansk Musiker Forbund, www.dmf.dk).

Koda cannot supply examples of how a sub-publishing contract may be drawn up. In order to ensure that the rights are properly managed and that notification of the works is correctly submitted to Koda, the following issues should always be covered by the contract between the original publisher and sub-publisher:  

  • The names of the music publisher and sub-publisher
  • The works included in the scope of the contract (titles and authors)
  • The territory in which the sub-publisher holds rights
  • Duration of the contract. See Koda's contract dates
  • The allocation of shares between publisher/sub-publisher 
  • The allocation of shares between authors
For translations or arrangements the agreement may include: 
  • The shares allocated to translators or arrangers 
  • Does the contract concern the translated or arranged version only, or is the sub-publisher also entitled to a share in the original work? 
Catalogue Agreements

A sub-publisher may enter into an agreement with an original publisher stipulating that the sub-publisher will manage the rights pertaining to a range of works within a territorial sub-area under the auspices of the original publisher’s area. This is known as a catalogue agreement or general sub-publishing agreement when the same contractual terms apply to a larger part of the repertoire represented by the publisher.

Submitting notification of catalogue agreements:

Before any notification of catalogue works can be submitted, Koda must receive separate notification of the terms and conditions of the agreement. This is done by completing a form available from the repertoire department at publisher@koda.dk

The music publisher must notify Koda of its rights

When a music publisher enters into an agreement with an author, said publisher is responsible for notifying Koda of its rights to the relevant works. Koda will register the information for the use of Koda and NCB. 

Koda must be notified when a music publishing contract expires

When the author and music publisher agree on an expiry date, Koda must be notified of the expiry of the music publishing contract, regardless of whether the expiration concerns a single work or all works in the agreement.

Koda’s contract dates

The start and end dates of the agreements govern the payments made to the music publisher from Koda and NCB. To avoid confusion we define the concepts here:

  • Collection period start:
    From this date on the music publisher has the right to start collecting/receiving payments for usage of the work. If no specific collection period start has been set, the contract is called retroactive.  In such cases the music publisher is entitled to receive distributions/royalties that have already been earned, but not yet paid out.
  • Collection period end:
    This date marks the end of the publisher’s right to collect/receive payments distributed for usage of the work. If it is possible to extend the sub-publishing agreement, no end date should be stated when notifying Koda of the agreement. Only notify Koda when the collection period actually ends.

If a catalogue is transferred from one sub-publisher to another, it may be relevant to agree a collection termination date. This date marks the termination of all payments to the former publisher even if distributions have been accumulated, but not yet paid out, during the collection period. 

Life of Copyright (LOC)

If a publishing contract stipulates Life of Copyright, it means that the publisher has the right to collect/receive payments distributed for usage of the work throughout its full copyrighted life (for Danish works this period is currently 70 years after the end of the year of the author’s death).

The publisher will retain its rights to the works originally included in the LOC agreement, even if the agreement may expire/be terminated for new works.