Music publishing contracts are used to set out the legal relationship between writers and music publishers.

They deal with the rights in the musical and lyrical copyright works, which are separate from the rights in sound recordings (dealt with in recording contracts).

Publishing contracts may relate to just one work, or a number of works created over a certain period of time.

The role of the music publisher is to earn money by exploiting the rights in the works on behalf of the writers. They do this by issuing licences to people such as advertising companies to sync the music with adverts and moving images or to people who wish to perform your music.

The rights in musical and lyrical copyright works are extremely valuable to you. It is therefore essential that any publishing contract is understood by both the writer and the publisher, and that they reflect the commercial terms which have been agreed between them.