Yes! The caption of this blog post seems overestimated. But the importance of the split sheets to a professional in the music industry cannot be exaggerated nonetheless.
A split sheet is an agreement executed by two or more creators of musical works. Creators are usually songwriters, record producers, composers, instrumentalists, etc.
This agreement dictates and regulates the contributions and benefits of each creator. It states the agreed split percentages of royalties that would be earned from the exploitation of the particular musical work.
Split sheets are necessary for every song written, performed, recorded, and published. They should be duly signed before the musical work is distributed so that no earnings are lost.
A well executed split sheet ensures that creators are compensated for the exploitation of their creation. It also helps to ensure that there are no conflicts when it comes to ownership of the creation, or any ambiguity regarding any agreed term.
On the other hand, it is important to note that in the absence of split sheet agreements or any kind of written agreement, earnings will be divided equally amongst all the creators/collaborators involved.
In practice in Nigeria, many fail to execute split sheets. Perhaps many creators are not educated on the importance of this document.
An experienced music lawyer acknowledges that the execution of split sheets guarantees that a creator is able to earn royalties from the exploitation of the creation. He will insist that his clients imbibe the culture of documenting works via the execution of split sheets. Clearly, this is another stream of revenue for the creator.
A creator’s copyright is his most prized possession. And one sure path to protecting this prized possession is documenting interests via split sheets.
This post offers some truth on the importance of split sheets.
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