How should the copyright be split when a band writes songs together?
The band can decide how to distribute the shares of copyright on its own, provided everyone is in agreement. Make sure there is an "internal agreement of copyright split" that all of the members of the band sign. It is not necessary to send the document to STIM, but it is important to have one in the event of a future dispute.
Download the form “agreement of copyright split” here.
Here are a few suggestions of how to distribute the copyright among band members:
The proposals are based on a distribution of 50% music and 50% lyrics.
CA=composer and lyricist
You are listed for the entire work, if the others agree:
Band member 1 = CA 100%
You share equally, no matter who did what:
Band member 1 = CA 25%
Band member 2 = CA 25%
Band member 3 = CA 25%
Band member 4 = CA 25%
You share the music equally, and only you are listed for the lyrics:
Band member 1 = CA 62.5% (50% + 12.5%)
Band member 2 = C 12.5%
Band member 3 = C 12.5%
Band member 4 = C 12.5%
The other band members are listed as arrangers*.
Band member 1 = CA 85%
Band member 2 = AR 5%
Band member 3 = AR 5%
Band member 4 = AR 5%
* This is common in many groups; ie one person writes everything, but the band arranges together. You must, of course, all agree what each person’s share should be. You can decide to share equally, for example.
If the band does not set the share split for a work, distribution will be according to STIM’s distribution rules.