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#786779 - 01/11/10 07:28 PM Who gets the Copyrights?  
Joined: Jan 2010
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Charmrock Offline
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Charmrock  Offline
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Michigan
In a band situation, who should be getting the Copyright to the songs? If one member does most of the writing for a song, should that member get "most" of the Copyright or all of the Copyright for that song? (Is the copyright to an album seperate from the copyrighs to each song on the album?)

#786787 - 01/11/10 08:01 PM Re: Who gets the Copyrights? [Re: Charmrock]  
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John Lawrence Schick Offline
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IMO it should be split equally among the writers. The writing part consists of melody, chords, and lyrics or if one of the band members creates a unique riff that is an essential part of the song.

John smile


#786788 - 01/11/10 08:05 PM Re: Who gets the Copyrights? [Re: Charmrock]  
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Ray E. Strode Offline
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Ray E. Strode  Offline
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Brunswick, Ga. USA
There is no set procedure. If the band all contributes to the song(s) they all will be copyright owners. It is up the members if they want to write or not. It is best to decide beforehand who is a writer on a particular song. A co-writer agreement is recommended of who will own what song. Clear the air of who is and isn't a writer on a song.

The indivudual song writer registers a song on the PA or PA Short form if there are no co-writers. There is also electronic registration but I think it only allows a single writer to register that way.

An Album is registered on the SR form that protects the sound recording only. It is a bit complex and you may need some help in filing if you don't quite understand it. You can order the forms from the Copyright Web Site.


Ray E. Strode
#786795 - 01/11/10 08:53 PM Re: Who gets the Copyrights? [Re: Charmrock]  
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Hummingbird Offline
Hummingbird  Offline

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Originally Posted by Charmrock
In a band situation, who should be getting the Copyright to the songs? If one member does most of the writing for a song, should that member get "most" of the Copyright or all of the Copyright for that song? (Is the copyright to an album seperate from the copyrighs to each song on the album?)


This should be spelled out in your band agreement. If you are all writing songs, then typically you should share ownership equally, especially because it's not just the writing of words & music, but the performance of the song in live concert and on recordings.

Even if you all decide the song itself belongs to the writer, the Master Recording of that song belongs to the band.

If you are getting into recording and touring, it's time to see an entertainment lawyer and get this stuff in writing. JMHO


Vikki Flawith: Songwriter/Composer, Singer/Voice Teacher

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#786889 - 01/12/10 02:00 AM Re: Who gets the Copyrights? [Re: Hummingbird]  
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Gary E. Andrews Online content
Gary E. Andrews  Online Content

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A 'song' consists of a 'lyric' and the 'melody' to which it is sung.

That can be registered for copyright without any accompaniment.

All accompaniment, percussion, instruments, backing vocals, is 'arrangement.'

If the songwriter's intent is to maintain a long-term relationship with the bandmates the songwriter may want to consider sharing the copyrights.

That means their names will go on the registration form(s) as co-writers, and they will forever share in the ownership and profits of the songs.

That means decisions about the marketing of the songs will require their agreement, unless otherwise specified in a contract regarding the 'partnership.'

www.copyright.gov might be some interesting reading to help you think through what you want to do.



There will always be another song to be written. Someone will write it. Why not you? www.garyeandrews.com
#786900 - 01/12/10 03:32 AM Re: Who gets the Copyrights? [Re: Gary E. Andrews]  
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Charmrock Offline
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Charmrock  Offline
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Michigan
Thanks, now it's making a little more sense to me. I've already dealt with copyright forms and such but this is my first experience with copyrighting with a whole band where I am the primary melody/lyric writer.


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