There are four things to be cognizant of in entering into an agreement with a music publishing company: (1) disposition of the copyright; (2) disposition of the administration rights; (3) division of the songwriter’s share; and (4) division of the publisher’s share.
Administration rights refer to the ability to control the use of the song. This is not a legal right per se like a copyright, but is determined via the terms of the contract. Generally, a publisher will insist on receiving 100% of the administration rights. This refers to who controls the song, and is not to be confused with an administration fee that a publisher may charge.
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