Access Abundance



for Musicians, Songwriters, Recordings Artists & Music Publishers



Step 1

Start working on this now:

Inventory of Works - TEMPLATE

An easy ready-to-go online template for organizing and managing your original musical works and intellectual property

Open the template and select "Make a copy" from the Google Docs "File" menu. Save the copy to your Google Drive, then share with people who might need access (your publisher, co-writers, your manager, etc.). When sharing your Inventory of Works with others, be sure that you only provide "Editing privileges" to people you can trust! For anyone else that might need to see it, you can offer "View-only" access.

When just getting started with inputting your songs for the first time, don't get hung up on needing to find every single piece of information. You can always go back and fill in ISWC numbers or other empty fields later. Start with the information you know: Title, authors, co-writers, publishers if any, etc. Get the important stuff down first: What are the splits of ownership / control / revenue for each composition? Has the song been registered with your PRO? Has the copyright been registered with the Library of Congress? Are there recordings of the work that have been released to the public on physical media or online?

Start with that and fill in the details when you are ready to compare your Inventory of Works with your PRO's Catalog of Works. Be sure to request your Catalog of Works from your PRO at your first opportunity for comparison and correction purposes. Like credit reports on file with the big credit bureaus, PROs' catalogs of works often have errors that could prevent you from receiving royalty monies to which you are entitled. I've seen it with my own eyes!


Songwriter Split Sheets

Songwriter Split Sheet (PDF)

Songs and musical compositions accrue to the author(s) the moment they are "fixed in a tangible means of expression", i.e. written down or recorded in an audible form (including video that includes audio). What this means is that the copyright (the intellectual property connected to that musical work) becomes the property of the author(s) when that musical work is written down or recorded. When there is only one "author" (songwriter, composer, lyricist), that author automatically owns 100% of the copyright for that work.

It's important to be aware that registering your copyright with the U.S. Copyright Office is a separate matter, which is also important. Owning a copyright and registering a copyright are two different things.

Ownership of a copyright becomes more complicated when there is more than one author of a work. This is where "Songwriter Split Sheets" become very handy and often prove essential. Songwriter Split Sheets are a method for authors to agree on the relevant percentages for authorship and ownership.

Though there are "industry norms" and conventional approaches to "song splits", there are no rules about how song authorship is divided among the authors: The split is whatever the authors agree to. Disagreements about splits become much harder to resolve after there's money involved, so the best time to discuss song splits with your co-writers is immediately before starting to write together, or at least immediately after a song has been completed, if not during the songwriting process itself.



Performance Rights Organizations (PROs)



Songwriter Performance Rights

Publishing Administration

Royalty Collection Assistance



Resource links for Music Licensing & Placement in Film / TV / Videogames / Advertising



Film Festivals

Film Festivals can be an amazing and fun way to make things happen for your music, meet filmmakers and find opportunities to get your music into film / tv / videogames / advertising. Click the link above to learn more.



U.S. Copyright Info



Songwriter Performance Rights
Publishing Administration
Royalty Collection Assistance

Access Abundance



Soundreef operates in the UK, USA, Italy, France, Sweden and Spain





Resource links for
Licensing & Placement in Film / TV / Videogames / Advertising

Guild of Music Supervisors Directory

Guild of Music Supervisors Conference

Guild of Music Supervisors

Internet Movie Database


Film Music Magazine /

Jingle Punks

CD Baby

Riptide Music Group

Pacifica Music

APM Music
On July 12, 2016, Music Dealers undertook “an assignment for the benefit of creditors,” which is similar to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, but governed by Illinois state law, not federal bankruptcy court. The company, “indebted to numerous secured and unsecured creditors,” went into liquidation to pay those debts “so far as it is possible.”
In effect, Music Dealers ceased operations in the summer of 2016.
Click the link above to read why. Their website is still online, but it's unclear if they are still in operation or if artists owed money as of July 12, 2016 were ever paid.


Articles by attorney Bart Day
Used with permission of the author.

8 Types of Publishing Deals

Setting Up Your Own Publishing Company

Music Placement Companies


Valuable articles about music in Film / TV / Videogames

Interview with Thomas Golubic, President of the Guild of Music Supervisors

The agenda for the Guild of Music Supervisors "State of Music Media" Conference
Contains a great deal of valuable information, insights and contacts.

Another insightful interview with Thomas Golubic, music supervisor for Six Feet Under, Breaking Bad, Better Call Saul and more.

Are the days of terrestirial radio's exemption for performance royalties numbered?

Public Performance Right for Sound Recordings


U.S. Copyright Office

Recommended reading: Copyright Basics (PDF)

Songs are intellectual property. Songs and other musical compositions are often referred to as “works”. A creator or creators of a work (also referred to as a composer, songwriter, author, or lyricist, in the case of someone who writes lyrics) owns a work as soon as it’s “fixed in a tangible means of expression”, e.g. written down, captured in an audio recording or a video recording that includes audio, etc.

It is not required that copyrights for works be registered with the Library of Congress, but doing so in a timely fashion entitles the copyright owner to additional remedies in instances when their copyrights have been infringed upon.


Copyright Collection Societies Worldwide

Links to a list of Copyright Collection Societies on Wikipedia

The Online Web Calendar Management Tool
for Musicians, Performers, Bands, DJs, Agents, Managers and Venues

FREE GigPal account for all clients of Access Abundance!



Bibliography / Recommended Reading

Music 4.1 by Bobby Owsinski

How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie

All You Need to Know About the Music Business by Donald S. Passman

This Business of Music: The Definitive Guide to the Business and Legal Issues of the Music Industry by M. William Krasilovsky, Sidney Shemel, John M Gross and Jonathan Feinstein

...and yes, this list is in the order you should read them!




Access Abundance does not and cannot dispense legal advice. The information in this website is provided only as general reference and industry background. Access Abundance strongly recommends that you should consult with an attorney in all instances in which you might act upon the information presented here.