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How To Create Copyright Agreements Using Cosynd

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Are you familiar with how to create copyright agreements?

Knowing the importance and benefits of officially copyrighting your music is only one side of the equation and by now, we hope you’ve become a lot more confident about music copyright. 

If not feel free to brush up on the related articles listed below.

Now on the flip side of copyright registration, is the importance of copyright agreements and the implications of not having an agreement in place. 

Create Copyright Agreements With Cosynd

Theoretically speaking, without an agreement, any collaborator can claim an equal share of ownership and rights, regardless of how small their contribution to your music was (and even if you have paid them).

>>> Related Reading: Still Confused About Music Copyright? Get Up to Speed in 3 minutes

>>> Related Reading: 11 Benefits of Officially Registering Your Music Copyrights 

Now, as we have shown you with our article on How to Register Your Copyright with Cosynd, protecting yourself doesn’t have to be rocket science and creating copyright agreements is no different.

Thankfully, Cosynd will also allow you to create the different agreements we touched on earlier, and share them with everyone involved in no time at all.

>>> Related Reading: The CASE Act & Supreme Court Ruling of 2019 Explained in 2 Minutes

>>> Related Reading: Your Rights As The Copyright Holder

>>> Related Reading: Common Copyright Misconception 

Another great thing about Cosynd is the ability to create agreements between you and your collaborators in a matter of minutes that cover ALL of your copyrights. These aren’t regular templates – templates that you find online may not cater to your unique situation and attempting to draft an agreement yourself could have serious legal consequences in the long term.

When you use Cosynd to create your agreements, you AND your collaborators can answer simple questions that automatically draft your contract according to your personal preferences. You can also invite attorneys to review the agreements and redline them if you wish to. Best of all, you can sign your agreements on Cosynd too.

Cosynd offers the ability to create four different types of agreements and we have outlined the steps to do so below:

*Please note if you have already registered for Cosynd you can skip to Step 3

Create Copyright Agreements With Cosynd - Step 1: Sign up for a Free Account

If you havent already, head to Cosynd.com and create your free account if you haven’t already. No credit card is required to sign up so you can get a feel for Cosynd before having to pay a cent.

Click on the Sign-Up Button.

Create Copyright Agreements

You will then need to choose the specific service you require but again you will not need to pay for anything or provide credit card info at this point. 

All basic split sheet agreements are free of charge and do not require a credit card. Only when you want to complete a work for hire agreement, premium split sheet, producer agreement OR send a completed Copyright Registration application to the U.S. Copyright Office, does a user have to provide a credit card.  A user can walk through the whole process without entering a credit card.

Create Copyright Agreements

Once you select a service you will need to provide your name, email and a password.

Create Copyright Agreements

Next, you will need to confirm your email address.

Create Copyright Agreements
Create Copyright Agreements

This link in your email will take you back to Cosynd allowing you to Sign In.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 2: Register your profile

Once you get inside the Cosynd Platform for the first time it will be important to set up your profile. This will help streamline the process of future copyright registrations and agreements.

Create Copyright Agreements

Cosynd also offers users the option of being featured on their various platforms. This is 100% optional and free of charge.

Create Copyright Agreements

Once you have finished creating your profile, you’ll be able to access the main dashboard.

Step 3: Click on the Agreements link

From the main dashboard, you will need to click on the Agreements option.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 4: Select work type

Next select the type of work you need the establish the agreement for.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 5: Provide details of the work

Here, you will need to input the basic details of the work related to the agreement.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 6: Select or create the team

Next, Cosynd allows you to create teams (the people that will need to sign the agreement, including yourself) and saves the details for future projects. If you work with the same people over and over this will help save you time when creating agreements instead of having to hunt down the same information every time.

Click on the plus sign to add a team if you haven’t created one already. Once you have created a team, you will be able to select it here next time.

Create Copyright Agreements

You can create a team name and add a team photo so that you can easily remember who is a part of it later. From here you will then click to add collaborators to this team.

Create Copyright Agreements

A window will then pop up allowing you to provide the specific details of each collaborator.

Create Copyright Agreements
Create Copyright Agreements

When adding collaborators you can also provide the specific roles related to that collaborator for the work in question. Once done click save and move on to add more collaborators and their details.

Keep in mind that your team will need to consist of at least two collaborators before you can proceed.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 7: Select the type of agreement

Next, you will need to select the type of agreement that you are creating. There are 4 different options to choose from which are a basic split sheet, a premium split sheet, a work for hire agreement and a producer agreement.

I would replace the sections below with the following text in red:

The basic split sheet (free) is the simplest way to establish copyright ownership. It lists all of the co-owners of the content and their ownership shares, publishing information and their Performing Rights Societies (if applicable).

That said, this is a very quick and basic agreement, which leaves out a lot of important details about the content. Best of all, you can use this kind of agreement to document ownership of your videos, literature, and images too. Once you have created a split sheet, you can keep adding titles to it to save you and your collaborators from having to manage different split sheets.”

The premium split sheet is more comprehensive and allows a user to establish greater control over copyright ownership and how the content can be used.
This agreement outlines important details about the content such as which collaborators are permitted to license the content on your behalf, branding permissions, dispute resolution, how payments/royalties should be managed and more.

This agreement is recommended in order to avoid issues in the future that are not outlined by those listed in the basic split sheet. Like the basic split sheet, you can add more titles to this whenever you want to.

Work for hire agreements are for situations where you’re either working for someone as an independent contractor, or are hiring someone to help you with a project. This agreement explicitly states that ownership belongs to the person who paid the independent contractor upon the completion of the paid-for work. Payments may not be enough to prevent someone from having a claim of copyright ownership. A work for hire agreement outlines the scope and terms of the work to be completed and prevents false claims of ownership from third parties.”

Producer agreements establish ownership of the masters whenever hiring a producer to create music. This agreement will outline significant details about how the music will be produced, how the producer will be credited, how disputes should be handled, how payments/royalties should be managed and what ownership they will be granted if any.

Cosynd allows you to create basic split sheets for free however if you would like to create any of the other agreements you will need to pay a fee for each individual agreement you create ($35 per agreement).

However, they also provide an option to subscribe for $150/yr which would grant you access to unlimited agreements for the year. Depending on how many agreements you will be creating, the yearly subscription may be a cheaper route for your situation.

Create Copyright Agreements

We will go through the specific details of each agreement below.

*Please note that both the basic and premium split sheets cannot be created for a sound recording on Cosynd. This is because splitting a sound recording, while possible, is not typically done. Doing so can cause additional legal headaches down the road when it comes to things like label deals, distribution, and licensing. It’s more common to split revenue from a sound recording. Cosynd will be releasing a version of their split sheet in the near future that will do exactly that.

Step 8A: Creating a Basic Split Sheet Agreement

Step 8.1.A: Name your agreement.

To start you will need to give your agreement a name.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.2.A: Determine Splits

Next, you will need to determine the percentage breakdown of your splits (ownership) and what each collaborator is entitled to. The splits must equal 100% in order to move to the next page.

Create Copyright Agreements

As mentioned before, the basic split sheet is very limited on what it covers. You will be notified of this and asked if you want to upgrade after completing a basic split sheet agreement. While the other agreements do come with a cost they are a lot more comprehensive and cover some very important details.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.3.A: Send and review your agreement

From here, you will then be able to send the agreement along with a message to everyone involved. Once they receive the email they can review the agreement before officially signing off on it.

Create Copyright Agreements

You’ll be able to find and come back to your pending and archived agreements from the agreements menu. From there you can review the final agreement, invite others to review it, view the history of amendments to the agreement, make notes and comments that all collaborators can see and download the proposed document here.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8B: Premium Split sheet Agreement

A premium split sheet will come with a fee attached of $35 or you can opt for the yearly unlimited option for $150 and create this agreement as well as unlimited versions of Cosynd’s other agreements.

Create Copyright Agreements

You will be prompted to provide an agreement name as well as determining the “ownership” splits similar to the basic split sheet agreement.

However, the premium split sheet agreement takes things a step further, allowing you to outline more important details within the contract.

Below are the added sections of a premium split sheet agreement.

Step 8.1.B: Licensing Permissions

This section allows you to determine which collaborators can sell or license your content on the behalf of others. This is to ensure that people do not enter into contracts or sign off on things when they don’t have the authority to do so.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.2.B: Governing Law

Next, you will need to pick which region or jurisdiction’s rule of law should be applied in the event that you have a dispute among your collaborators. Each region will have a difference in laws and how they impact copyright issues. Usually, it is easiest to default to the region you reside in but the choice is up to you.

*Creators outside of the United States will not have options to choose from and will need to default to a specific region in the U.S.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.3.B: indemnification

In this section of the agreement you will establish how collaborators will be protected if something goes wrong or if it will be an every man for themselves situation.

The term used here is indemnification which as Cosynd puts it “is a promise by one party to cover the losses another party may suffer because of third party legal action taken against them as a result of the indemnifying party’s breach of the agreement.”

In other words, indemnification means that one party will cover your losses if they do something that causes you harm or causes a third party to sue you.

You can choose to have everyone involved indemnify the other collaborators if their actions cause harm. You can also choose to have just one specific person indemnify the others, or you can choose to have no indemnification option at all.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.4.B: Dispute Resolution

In this section, you will determine how disputes will be resolved. This is very important to do ahead of time because when things get nasty and people aren’t thinking straight this will be a key for keeping things fair.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.5.B: Name & Likeness

It is important to have permission to use someone’s branding materials, such as their name and image, and you should respect how these materials are used. Depending on the situation someone may not mind if you post their materials without permission but others will want to know the details first to avoid any unwanted surprises.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.6.B: Cure & Remedies

This final section also sets forth how disputes will be handled. Collaborators will need to outline if there will be a grace period to resolve any issues that may have been created or not. There is also the determination of how damages can be repaid. Will payment only be considered in the form of money or will other ways of fixing the issue be allowed.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.7.B: Review, Pay, Send

Once all of these sections have been completed you will be able to review the agreement in its entirety, create a message for all collaborators involved and send it out to everyone for their review and approval. Before you can send out the agreement you will need to pay the agreement fee.

Create Copyright Agreements

Please note the icons at the top of the Terms Summary (on the right hand side of the screen) will allow you to toggle between the Terms Summary, to get an overview of all of the proposed terms, or Preview the Agreement in its entirety. You can do this at any time during the creation process.

Create Copyright Agreements
Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8C: Work for Hire Agreement

Similar to a Premium Split Sheet you will need to pay for a Work For Hire agreement. These are also $35 or you can get access to unlimited agreements over the course of a year for $150.

Again no payment will be required until you have completed the details of the agreement and are ready to send it out for review.

You will also need to establish a name.

*note that unlike split sheet agreements, work for hire agreements can be made for both the sound recording and the composition. They can be used for any service that you are paying for that relates to your videos, images, and literature.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.1.C: Contribution

Here is where you outline what exactly the person you are hiring is being contracted to do. This helps protect everyone involved to ensure that no one is taken advantage of by clearly outlining expectations.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.2.C: Credit

Next, you will decide what if any credit will be given to the contractor. In some cases, the person paying may not want others to know of outside contributions but in most cases giving credit in some form is customary. It’s important to outline how credit will be given and that everyone agrees.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.3.C: Governing Law

Similar to the premium split sheet you are again outlining the region’s rule of law that will be used to address disputes.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.4.C: Dispute Resolution

Again no different than the premium split sheet, you are just outlining how disputes will be handled.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.5.C: Consideration

The difference with the split sheet was the determination of the percentages owed to each collaborator. 

However, with a work for hire agreement, this changes because you are usually paying for something to be done and are not handing over any ownership to the contracted person. 

However, there are many ways that this can be handled and every case is different. You can certainly just pay the person a fee and nothing else, you can offer royalties, exchange services, or even just an offering of clout and exposure. 

There is no fixed way that this has to go and in many circumstances, a combination of all of these factors may come into play.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.6.C: Cure & Remedies

Here is where again you determine if there will be any grace period to resolve a problem someone has created from a breach of contract.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.7.C: Review, Pay, Send

All that’s left to do is review your agreement, pay the fee and then send it off for review and approval from others. Again you will have access to make further adjustments to the agreement once payment is made.

Create Copyright Agreements

Please note the icons at the top of the Terms Summary (on the right hand side of the screen) will allow you to toggle between the Terms Summary, to get an overview of all of the proposed terms, or Preview the Agreement in its entirety. You can do this at any time during the creation process.

Create Copyright Agreements
Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8D: Producer Agreements

Similar to the other premium agreements, you again will need to pay for a Producer Agreement. These are also $35 or you can get access to unlimited agreements over the course of a year for $150.

Again no payment will be required until you have completed the details of the agreement and are ready to send it out for review.

You will also need to establish a name for the producer agreement.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.1.D: Services

With this part of the producer agreement, you will need to outline the services being provided by the producer and the details of what they will be producing.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.2.D: Ownership

As with any type of agreement, establishing who owns what is always important. No different with a producer agreement you will need to determine if the producer will actually retain any ownership and what rights they have after the work is done.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.3.D: Payments

The previous section of ownership leads directly into the breakdown and determination of payments. Here you will outline the details of how the producer will be paid. The payments options are laid out as follows:

Create Copyright Agreements

A Fee Without Royalties

Create Copyright Agreements

A Fee With Royalties

Create Copyright Agreements

An Advance of Future Royalties

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.4.D: Credit, Names & Likeness

Next you will want to establish how the producer will be credited.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.5.D: Governing Law

Similar to other types of agreements, you will determine what jurisdiction the terms of the agreement will be governed.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.6.D: Dispute Resolution

The final section of the producer agreement is to outline how disputes will be resolved if they happen to arise.

Create Copyright Agreements

Step 8.7.D: Review, Pay, Send

All that’s left to do is review your producer agreement, pay the fee and then send it off for review and approval from others. Again you will have access to make further adjustments to the agreement once payment is made.

Create Copyright Agreements

Please note the icons at the top of the Terms Summary (on the right hand side of the screen) will allow you to toggle between the Terms Summary, to get an overview of all of the proposed terms, or Preview the Agreement in its entirety. You can do this at any time during the creation process.

Create Copyright Agreements
Create Copyright Agreements

Get Started With Cosynd Today

We hope this guide helps you with creating your copyright agreements. While there are some other options out there and available to you, we have used Cosynd and found their platform very easy to use, especially when you have a ton of collaborators involved. 

The process is simple and straight forward, meaning less time worrying and more time working on the music you love to create. With that said, we would love to hear from you. 

Tell us more about your personal experiences with collaborating with others and creating copyright agreements in the comments below.

Cosynd and Music With Flavor are excited to partner to provide you with affordable, simple copyright services.

Protecting Your Content is Now Easier and More Affordable Than Ever Before. You can register a song or an entire album with the U.S. Copyright Office in minutes for as little as $25. (plus federal filing fees) per application.

You can also create FREE customized split sheets – a simple, one-page agreement that establishes the percentage of a copyright that you and your collaborators each own.

Best of all, you can protect all of your copyrights – your music, videos, images, and documents – using Cosynd.

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Music With Flavor Staff

Helping You Taste Success In Music

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