As a songwriter, you may be interested in business, but your talents are best spent in creating. However, someone needs to take care of business, and that’s where the publishing industry came from. When a publisher makes a standard deal with a songwriter, it will find users for the content, issue licenses, collect money and pay the writer(s) conditions of which will be included in the Publishing Contract.
This is an exclusive contract both in respect of the compositions assigned and in respect to the artist as songwriter, meaning that everything the songwriter composes during the term will be made part of the agreement and assigned to the publisher. Publisher still has the obligation to procure significant use for the songs, failure to do so will allow to the artist to claim copyright back on unexploited song.
Useful contract for more established companies who are well placed to properly exploit publishing copyright.
For shorter term and non-exclusive licenses please see: Syncronisation License and Licensing Agreement for Certain Compositions.