Agreement Type

Administration Agreement

Retain ownership and control, higher royalty rates, more flexibility


The primary advantage is that you are not transferring long term equity (partial or total ownership) or control in your songs to a third party. You are only committing to a short term arrangement and are retaining all ownership and control for yourself in the long term. During the administration term, the administrator is technically the owner of your interests. This allows the administrator to fully protect your copyrights (e.g., undertake copyright infringement actions on behalf of your interests during the term). However, after the administration term, the administrator does not retain any ownership in your songs.


You don’t have to worry about your song ending up in a kitty litter commercial or an X-rated video, unless you have approved it.


If you don’t like your administrator, you can fire them and hire a new one. Your rights are portable. This terminability tends to make administrators more responsive to your concerns.


Because you are not building advances and banking functions into your publishing deal, you will ordinarily get a bigger share of the income than you would receive in a co-publishing deal.

Agreement Type

Co-Publishing Agreement

Give up copyright ownership and control, worse royalty rates, deals often last in perpetuity

Loss of ownership

Most likely a major multi-national corporation will co-own and totally control the rights to your song. Do you really want to have a multi-national corporation as your business partner?

Little Flexibility

You are usually stuck with your co-publisher for the life of your copyrights, or for at least for a very long period of time.


In addition to the normal administrative costs, you are also charged for the interest cost of advancing you money and the cost of recovering unrecouped advances given to other writers who failed to earn back what they were given.

Taxes and Commissions

Accepting a lump-sum advance as opposed to receiving royalties as earned may have adverse and/or accelerating tax and commission consequences.

Banking Function

Major corporations that give you large publishing advances are “betting” that you will earn more money than they are giving you up front. And in fact, if they didn’t win lots of these “bets”, they’d go out of business. By taking large up-front advances, you are “betting” against yourself. (You think you’ll earn less money than the corporation thinks you will. And they’re professional bettors.)