I have written the lyrics to a song, came up with the melody and paid a composer to translate it into musical notes and create the song (with instruments). I paid for his services. Now, I want to launch it through a music distribution platform. I am responsible to decide on the royalty split. What royalty split should I consider? Thanks a lot!
Who owns the copyright?
It’s clear that you own the copyright in the lyrics because they are solely your own work. However, the ownership of the music is less clear - your melody, the composer’s arrangement and performance. Do you own it or do they or is it a joint work?
What did you put in the contract with the composer about copyright? As an independent contractor, the composer would own the copyright in their contribution making it a joint work unless the contract provided otherwise.
If you own it, the royalties are all yours. If it’s a joint work then a) you need the other author’s permission to do this and b) the split is whatever you agree to.