What is an exclusive publishing contract for “perpetuity”?

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What is an exclusive publishing contract for “perpetuity”?

A successful music publisher is looking to sign and pitch songs for an ad campaign that needs music. I am going to submit my song for possible selection. If my song is chosen I will be offered up an exclusive publishing contract for perpetuity. I know that exclusive rights mean they have ownership and control over the song for a specified period of time but the “perpetuity” scare me. What exactly does this mean? The word itself means forever. Does this mean they have the rights to my song to use my song forever and that I can’t ever use this song or pitch this song to anyone else? or does it just mean they have the right to use that song whenever they want?

Asked on March 9, 2012 under Business Law, South Carolina

Answers:

Hong Shen / Roberts Law Group

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

It is pretty standard that the publisher requires you to give up any rights to the songs forever. You should negotiate with the publisher to the term such that at a certain point of time you may re-own the songs. If necessary, you may need a lawyer's help to renegotiate the term for you.


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