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#1076245 - 03/11/15 10:57 AM Sort of...  
Joined: Oct 2007
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Caroline Offline
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Caroline  Offline
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A couple years ago a 10 year old cut a song I had cowritten with 2 friends. This song is now available in iTunes. Yay! Upon reading up a bit on this young lady I found an interview where she states she "cowrote the song, it's important to live life to it's fullest!" Lol! She's 12 now, and apparently is a cowriter because she changes 5 words in the song. I'm not happy with the change (because it takes away from the tone of the song, if it made it better, I'd be ok with it) nor with the "cowrite" she gets to claim but I guess at least it's out there. I'm all for multiple cowriters but honestly, where's the common courtesy. People shouldn't just be allowed to add themselves without the actual writers permission. But like I said, it's cut, one day hopefully I'll get another check in for my 2.275 cents:)
Let me know if you'd like the info. I'd be happy to have anything that gets me closer to covering the demo cost:)

Last edited by Caroline; 03/11/15 11:27 AM.



Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#1076253 - 03/11/15 12:20 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Caroline]  
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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Just another sign of the deteriorating music industry. It's going back to the age when artist used writers material without any compensation to the writer. The most important commodity in a recording is the song, it is the foundation of the industry, still the writer is the worst done by in the industry. No one should be allowed to add or take away from a song without the writers permission, especially when it does nothing to improve the song. Cosmetic changes are OK if it does not change the meaning of a song, but should not cut the artist in as a co-writer. I know there is an over supply of songwriters (good and bad) but why should writers be the scape goat for the ills of the down turn in sales?

#1076263 - 03/11/15 01:26 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Everett Adams]  
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Caroline Offline
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Caroline  Offline
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Everett, it is frustrating. I'm very thankful that it's cut, it's not going to sing itself. However, common courtesy, manners, and the like have long been stepped over in the music industry.
If it actually improved the song I wouldn't mind the change but 5 words total in the song without so much as a heads up just seems wrong. If she wants to be a cowriter that entail participation, IMHO, not add ons or changes without letting the writers in on it.
I know of one songwriter who had a cut with Lorrie Mirgan (sp?) and she lived the lyric but not the melody. The music was changed but the writer was informed before hand. Not the he was gonna to try to argue, but it was the polite thing to do.
I guess I'm just old school and think that type of thing is important. Maybe I should adjust to the way society is today. Just feeling like the values and respect I grew up with are long, long gone.



Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#1076316 - 03/11/15 11:07 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Caroline]  
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Dave Rice Online content
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Hi Caroline:

I would need to know more about the case before rendering one of my "famous judgments"... LOL... but right off the bat... did the young "artist" contact any of the legitimate co-writers before making changes? Was the distributor or publisher involved in listing the "artist" as a co-writer? Are any of the legitimate co-writers members of a PRO organization such as BMI, ASCAP or SESAC?

I've heard of many big name artists "forcing the songwriter(s)" to make changes to accommodate their singing style or ideas on how to make the song better... but it seems pretty darn cheeky for a youngster to make changes and then name herself as a co-writer. Depending on how the song was registered (if it was) she could now be in for a share of the "writer's cut" as well as the artist's cut.

Perhaps she (or her handlers/parents, etc.) don't fully understand how music publishing works. I agree that it is better to have the song "out there" where there is at least some potential for income... but songwriters always seem to get the short end of the stick and it really gets my goat! ("Makes me angry!"... for those of you who don't understand Ozarkian English!)

I can sure understand your ire over this little deal.

All the best,


#1076352 - 03/12/15 01:32 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Dave Rice]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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There is usually a Clause in a Publishing Contract that allows Editing of the song if needed. Many times an Artist will need a few changes for the song to fit better. Editing a song in no way, shape, or form gives a writing credit to a Publisher or Artist. So if the song ever took off and made huge amounts of money and someone claimed a writing credit that wasn't given a court case could ensue.

What you might do, or not do, is write the young lady a letter stating according to copyright law she has claimed a writing credit she is not entitled to.

Ray E. Strode
#1076416 - 03/13/15 11:23 AM Re: Sort of... [Re: Ray E. Strode]  
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Caroline Offline
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Caroline  Offline
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The specifics are...

I pitched
It got picked up by this artist
I got a $32 check
Found out a few weeks ago it had been released (over a year ago) on iTunes, and further checking I found it in cd baby, reverbnation, amazon, amazon/uk, overstock, and if there's another I don't remember.

I checked out some sites and found an excerpt of an interview where she said she was a cowriter, the song was about living life to the fullest.

That's all I know.
If it's not uncommon for an artist to drop a couple words and change one and this action makes them a cowriter then I will get over myself. If it's not, if the artist doesn't have rights to writer credits then I won't. It's a penny per sale difference for each of the three who did put in the effort. I'm a few hundred shy of even covering the demo cost just on my part and I'd like to recoup at least the demo cost!



Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#1076417 - 03/13/15 11:41 AM Re: Sort of... [Re: Caroline]  
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Colin Ward Online content
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Saint Petersburg. FL
So I would assume she paid for a mechanical license for 1400 CDs or downloads (unless there was a publisher involved taking half the mechanicals). Unless she is really special, she will probably have a garage full of CDs for some time to come!

I agree that is a slimy tactic but it is what an awful lot of major artists do these days because it is hard to make money in the music business without royalties. Obviously she should have communicated with the actual writers. So she (or her parents) are either shrewd or ignorant or both.

On the other hand, most writers on JPF don't get any cuts at all........congratulations.


I try to critique as if you mean business.....



#1076434 - 03/13/15 01:36 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Colin Ward]  
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Ray E. Strode Online content
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Ray E. Strode  Online Content
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
Over the years I have developed a system in case someone wants to record one or more of my songs.
I send a Cover Letter Form that details what I will need sent for a license to be issued. I have my own Mechanical License.

If they send the information I then send a Permission Form Letter with all information listed giving them permission to record and release the song(s) by paying the Mechanical License fee.

When the Fee is sent I send the Mechanical License.
This way everything is on paper and is perfectly clear.

Ray E. Strode
#1077191 - 03/21/15 07:21 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: Caroline]  
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MidniteBob Offline
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MidniteBob  Offline
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Raleigh, ya'll
Originally Posted by Caroline
... Just feeling like the values and respect I grew up with are long, long gone.

Values-schmalues Caroline, this is a potential "legality" issue, but I'll hold off, like Dave, in judgement until more details are verified.

Coupla quick questions for your research:

1. Is she "officially" listed as a co-writer? Or is that quote just something that she blurted out during an interview? It's not uncommon for people to say something once, and then repeat it a few times and the next thing ya know, they actually believe it.

2. And yes, it's an ancient move by performers to take co-writing credit, and the actual writers have to split the royalties in order to get the song recorded, but that is usually done by well-established performers, not 10 year old snot-faced, droopy-drawers kids!!!, John Denver and "Take me Home, Country Roads" comes immediately to mind, but it's extremely common. So, you have to carefully consider the consequences of confronting her about this. I mean, what IF-IF-If-IF, in 5 years she's the next Taylor Swift???

As MAB(and others) say, it's all about relationships, and it's a delicate balancing act to figure out which bridge to burn.

But, whatever happens, CONGRATS!!!!


Satchel was right. Something is gaining on me.

The Shoebox & Dinner at Eight trailers available at:

#1077196 - 03/21/15 08:09 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: MidniteBob]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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John Lawrence Schick  Offline
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Definitely 100% wrong. If I'm reading this right, I could do a version of "Yesterday", change a couple words, and take co-writing credits for it. Maybe I'm missing something, but in order to gain co-writer status one must first acquire permission from the original writer. I think this 12 year old needs a reality check from you Caroline.

Hmm, I wonder if someone did a new version of one of my piano solos and changed a couple notes. Would they also be co-writers.

Congrats on your tune getting out there.

Best, John smile

#1077284 - 03/22/15 03:20 PM Re: Sort of... [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Aug 2002
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Everett Adams Offline
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Everett Adams  Offline
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,NL Canada
I've had several artist wanting to change a few words and I say go ahead if it is only cosmetic changes but any change that may change the meaning of a song, I would have to OK. No co-writing credits to anyone who just changes a word or two.

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