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Publisher agreements

An agreement is a contract that lets a publisher manage or administer a piece of music or catalogue, on behalf of a writer or another publisher.

Types of agreement

Writer to publisher

  • Exclusive Songwriter agreement: covers all the writer's music
  • Specific Agreement: a specific piece of music is covered
  • Part-Catalogue Agreement - a collection of the writer's music is covered

PRS for Music will not accept agreements that entitle the publisher to more than a 50% performance share.

Publisher to publisher

  • General Catalogue Agreement: covers all works in a catalogue
  • Part Catalogue Agreement: a collection of the publisher's  music is covered
  • Administration Agreement: covers an entire catalogue but does not assign rights
  • Specific Agreement: covers a specific piece of music

Publishers do not have to tell writers if they enter into an agreement with another publisher.

How to register an agreement

When publisher members register works they need to provide an agreement number. New agreements can be registered online through your online account.

Terminating publisher agreements

Publishers should log into their account and select ‘register or amend works’, then ‘terminate an agreement’ and follow the instructions. Note that many agreements contain retention clauses which enable publishers to retain the rights to the works covered by the agreement beyond the termination date.

If writers believe their agreement with a publisher has ended and the publisher has not terminated it, they should first contact their publisher and request they do so. If that fails to resolve the issue, please raise a query with us.

Further information

A legal referral service is available for members.

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