Who's Online Now
28 registered members (Barry David Butler, BlakeAllyn, Douglas Murphy, couchgrouch, David Gill, Brian Austin Whitney, beechnut79, arealrush, Calvin, Colin Ward, 5 invisible), and 449 guests, and
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Shout Box
Member Spotlight
Rob B.
Rob B.
Germany
Posts: 125
Joined: November 2005
Show All Member Profiles 
What's Going On
"Miss December 68"
by Martin Lide. 03/28/17 06:36 PM
Pitching song with another artist
by pathardy. 03/28/17 06:24 PM
The Ballad of Abandoned Love With Cross Harp
by BlakeAllyn. 03/28/17 05:35 PM
Different Kind of Blue
by Michael Zaneski. 03/28/17 05:31 PM
Just a Piece of My Dreams
by E Swartz. 03/28/17 03:12 PM
A petition we should all sign
by Everett Adams. 03/28/17 02:55 PM
How Popular Musicís Lyrics Perpetuate American Idiocy
by Brian Austin Whitney. 03/28/17 02:49 PM
The Town Where You Were Born
by Ted Martin. 03/28/17 01:49 PM
I Wish I Could Help
by BlakeAllyn. 03/28/17 01:41 PM
Please Come Home
by Michael Zaneski. 03/28/17 12:40 PM
Ain't Nothin' Left
by Michael Zaneski. 03/28/17 12:38 PM
The Better Man
by Michael Zaneski. 03/28/17 12:36 PM
Roseberry Garden
by BlakeAllyn. 03/28/17 12:31 PM
Through A Song.
by Lisa Gundling. 03/28/17 12:22 PM
Mrs. Brunner
by Lisa Gundling. 03/28/17 12:12 PM
Love, there is No such Thing
by BlakeAllyn. 03/28/17 11:09 AM
Peace Has Broken Out (Uh Oh)
by Barry David Butler. 03/28/17 09:55 AM
2017 Nominees Check In Here!
by Wouter. 03/28/17 08:56 AM
Why no study materials for music writing?
by Martin Lide. 03/28/17 08:50 AM
Twangri-la
by Neil Cotton. 03/28/17 07:52 AM
A shout out to Jody Whitesides...Thanks!
!!

by Brian Austin Whitney. 03/28/17 12:51 AM
Meds for stagefright?
by Michael Zaneski. 03/27/17 07:47 PM
We Danced Our Lives Away
by Barry David Butler. 03/27/17 07:40 PM
Get Out of the Way
by arealrush. 03/27/17 05:34 PM
Get Out of the Way
by arealrush. 03/27/17 05:14 PM
Nine Mile Creek
by arealrush. 03/27/17 05:09 PM
A Better Man
by arealrush. 03/27/17 05:04 PM
Reviewing and Reviving
by arealrush. 03/27/17 04:50 PM
WHAT'S IN YOUR CD PLAYER ?
by PopTodd. 03/27/17 11:24 AM
NEW MEMBERS CHECK HERE
by Brian Austin Whitney. 03/27/17 09:04 AM
Top Posters(All Time)
Calvin 19,012
Kevin Emmrich 10,522
Jean Bullock 10,330
Kaley Willow 10,240
Travis david 9,962
Two Singers 9,571
Joice Marie 9,186
Mackie H. 8,673
Mike Dunbar 8,574
glynda 8,557
Tricia Baker 8,318
Colin Ward 7,714
Corey 7,357
couchgrouch 7,152
Wyman Lloyd 6,578
Mark Kaufman 6,426
Joe Wrabek 6,390
ben willis 6,049
Dave Rice 5,833
Lynn Orloff 5,788
Louis 5,714
Linda Sings 5,601
niteshift 5,295
KimberlyinNC 5,195
Vicarn 5,005
Derek Hines 4,893
DonnaMarilyn 4,594
Blake Hill 4,528
Bob Cushing 4,333
Bill Osofsky 4,199
Cindy Miller 4,178
Tom Shea 4,173
TamsNumber4 3,894
nightengale 3,892
Caroline 3,865
Roy Cooper 3,856
Neil Cotton 3,851
Kolstad 3,732
Dan Sullivan 3,710
MFB III 3,687
Dottie 3,427
joewatt 3,411
Bill Cooper 3,279
John Hoffman 3,193
beechnut79 3,138
Skip Johnson 3,027
Pam Hurley 3,007
Terry G 3,005
Harriet Ames 2,863
PopTodd 2,855
Nigel Quin 2,794
E Swartz 2,785
Tom Tracy 2,558
MidniteBob 2,541
Polly Hager 2,526
Jerry Jakala 2,524
Al Alvarez 2,499
Eric Thome 2,448
Hummingbird 2,401
Nelson 2,359
Stan Loh 2,263
Sam Wilson 2,233
Judy Hollier 2,232
Erica Ellis 2,202
Wendy D 2,147
TrumanCoyote 2,096
Marty Helly 2,012
DukeWill 1,984
Ray Thyer 1,929
Clint Anglin 1,904
cindyrella 1,888
David Wright 1,866
Clairejeanne 1,851
Cindy LaRosa 1,824
maccharles 1,727
floyd jane 1,713
Ronald Boyt 1,675
Noel Downs 1,620
Iggy 1,583
Cal 1,574
Jack Swain 1,554
Rick Heenan 1,550
Pete Larsen 1,537
Ann Tygart 1,529
Tom Breshers 1,487
Tom Franz 1,450
RogerS 1,445
Ralph Blight 1,440
Chuck Crowe 1,435
Kenneth Cade 1,429
Rick Norton 1,427
bholt 1,411
Letha Allen 1,406
Stan Simons 1,402
in2piano 1,397
mattbanx 1,384
Jen Shaner 1,367
Charlie Wong 1,347
KevinP 1,324
Vondelle 1,316
Tom W. 1,311
Jan Petter 1,300
scottandrew 1,292
DakLander 1,265
GocartMoz 1,253
Janice & Bud 1,242
Ian Ferrin 1,230
IdeaGuy 1,209
Glen King 1,209
AaronAuthier 1,177
Diane Ewing 1,158
PeteG 1,146
summeoyo 1,076
BobbyJoe 1,075
Gerry 1,070
joro 1,045
S.DEE 1,040
yann 1,037
Tony A 1,016
argo 986
peaden 984
Wolvman 960
Jak Kelly 912
krtinberg 890
Petra 883
IronKnee 875
Drifter 856
RJC 845
Brenda152 840
Nadia 827
Juan 797
TKO 784
frahmes 781
teletwang 762
lane1777 746
90 dB 745
tbryson 736
Andy Kemp 732
Andy K 729
Jackie444 718
3daveyO3 704
Dayson 703
Dixie 701
Joy Boy 695
ant 694
Knute 686
Lee Arten 678
Katziis 652
R.T.MOORE 638
quality 637
CG King 622
douglas 621
Mel 614
NaomiSue 601
Shandy 589
Ria 587
TAMERA64 583
qbaum 570
nitepiano 565
pRISCILLA 556
Tink2 553
musica 539
deanbell 528
RobertK 527
9ne 523
Roderic 522
Irwin 514
BB Wilbur 511
pathardy 506
goodfolks 499
Moosesong 489
Zeek 487
Stu 486
Steve P. 481
KathyW 462
allenb 459
MaxG 458
Philjo 454
fanito 448
trush48 448
dmk 442
R&M 437
DGR 436
avweek 435
Stephen D 433
Emmy 431
arealrush 430
Rob L 426
marquez 422
kit 419
Softkrome 417
kyrksongs 415
RRon 408
Laura G. 407
VNORTH 407
Debra 407
eb 406
cuebald 399
EdPerrone 398
Dannyk1 395
Hobart 395
Davyboy49 393
Smile 389
GJShades 387
Ezt 384
tone 380
Marla 380
iggyiggy 378
coalminer 377
Cecilee 376
java 374
spidey 371
sweetsong 370
danny 367
Jim Ryan 360
papaG 353
Alek 351
Z - man 350
John K 348
JamesDF5 347
Jaden 344
ddreuter 341
TheBaz 340
Steggy 339
leif 339
tonedeaf 336
rickwork 334
Eddie Ray 332
Johnboy 328
Bob Lever 328
Helicon1 327
lucian 326
Muskie 321
kc 319
Z. Mulls 318
ptondreau 313
ONOFFON 312
Chris B. 310
trush 304
ed323 297
Ellen M 293
lizzorn 291
nicnac49 290
pomeranj 289
Char 286
ktunes 285
mastrose 280
pammie 279
Register Today!
Welcome to the Just Plain Folks forums! You are currently viewing our forums as a Guest which gives you limited access to most of our discussions and to other features.

By joining our free community you will have access to post and respond to topics, communicate privately with our users (PM), respond to polls, upload content, and access many other features. Registration is fast, simple, and absolutely free; so please join our community today!
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Rate This Thread
#958008 - 05/03/12 08:09 PM When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
KimberlyinNC Offline
Top 50 Poster
KimberlyinNC  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
North Carolina
This may be a silly question, but I am going to ask it.

If someone was to collaborate on a song, and one person did the lyrics, and the other did the music to those lyrics, if one or the other party wanted to pitch the MUSIC ONLY from that song to for a commercial or something, could that be done or does the music belong to the person who wrote the music and not the lyric writer? Of course I am asking if the music was picked up, who would have rights to the earnings?

I hope my question makes sense and maybe the answer is staring me in the face but I am asking anyways..


Kim

Last edited by KimberlyinNC; 05/03/12 08:12 PM.

*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com
#958013 - 05/03/12 08:39 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
DonnaMarilyn Offline
Top 100 Poster
DonnaMarilyn  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
Netherlands
Kim, my collaborations are always 50/50, irrespective of whether the song is pitched as is, as an instrumental, or - unlikely, but one never knows smile - simply in lyric form. In every case, any royalties are to be shared equally. This is based on the premise that the song as such would never have come into existence without either the music or the lyrics.

I've spoken to professionals about this (including MAB), and this seems to be the consensus.

I hope this helps.

Donna


Afterthought re lyrics: an exception might be if someone had seen the lyrics on their own somewhere, and not in connection with music at all.


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers


#958192 - 05/04/12 07:55 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 351
Alek Offline
Top 500 Poster
Alek  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 351
Ukraine
The answer isn't so simple as it seems, example: I have an instrumental placed at Youlicense.com and sold some licenses
for it's use, then someone who heard that instrumental at dance
school(they bought a license) wanted to make a song with it adding their lyrics, so what, if I'll agree then that person has rights for my instrumental?
I think no, the only case if approved by both parties when final product is in use as a complete song with a melody and lyrics then each collaborator can use it for commercial purposes.
I think this is right, otherwise any other cases should be put in writing i.e. AGREEMENT between parties. Still music attorney opinion is required.

#958193 - 05/04/12 08:10 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Alek]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,714
Colin Ward Online content
Colin Ward  Online Content

Top 25 Poster

Joined: May 2006
Posts: 7,714
Saint Petersburg. FL
The music is a part of the song that you have jointly created. If the song is placed but only the music is used, the songwriters share the rewards in the proportion agreed to - probably 50-50. Sweet Home Alabama is still Sweet Home Alabama even when nobody is singin!


Colin

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

http://colinwardmusic.com/

http://rosewoodcreekband.com/


#958349 - 05/06/12 12:40 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,833
Dave Rice Offline
Top 40 Poster
Dave Rice  Offline
Top 40 Poster

Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 5,833
Texas
I'm no music attorney but I suspect this question bears some careful consideration. A lyric is a lyric only without a melody. A melody is only a melody (and I think that is what Kimberly is questioning) without a lyric. Once the two are "joined" the resultive work is a song.

The proceeds of the song are shared by the co-writers (lyricist and composer) in that given song. When a melody is played or performed without the lyrics... and recorded... I suspect it is possible for the proceeds to be channelled only to the composer unless a specific written agreement is in place between the two parties. Let's see what our "in-house" music barristers or attorneys will tell us about this interesting question.

Just another reason I keep telling MAB that it's better for the songwriter to be both, the lyricist and the composer... LOL! Oh, by the way, no matter if it's a song or a composition/melody... half the proceeds normally go to the publisher and the remaining half is divided between the creators. (They call this process "The Splits.") Naturally, people with star quality are sometimes able to negotiate the percentages between creator(s) and the publisher... if they are not one and the same... like the Beatles ended up being. Smart cookies, these Brits!

#958417 - 05/06/12 12:19 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Dave Rice]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Indianapolis, IN USA
Once you start a co-write process, the two pieces are locked together and can't be simply extracted to work with someone else without express permission of the original co-writer. As for licensing songs, be VERY careful with what language is in that agreement. I would never suggest EVER licensing something without your own attorney looking it over and explaining to you what can and cannot happen to your music going forward.

Folks, be very careful out there! These sites and their agreements are really dangerous.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#958597 - 05/07/12 04:19 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 854
December X Offline
Top 500 Poster
December X  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 854
Im not sure if I was the only one to pick up on how your worded the question, but, if the music is pitched by itself, without the lyrics, and somebody picks up the music, I dont see how the lyricist has any claim.

If the song was pitched as a whole with music and lyric together, and the company only wanted the music, then the lyricist could probably claim something.

But if u pitch music alone, that same music could have had a lyric written to it, like the case in a challenge, and maybe 10 different lyrics were written for that music at one time or another, I dont think all ten lyricists would have a claim if the music was pitched by itself.

So neither would one, in that case.

Also prolly comes down to if the song was officially copyrighted with one music writer and one lyricist.

But I could be wrong, thats just my hunch.

Last edited by December Rock Star; 05/07/12 04:19 PM.
#958610 - 05/07/12 05:35 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: December X]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
John Lawrence Schick Offline
Top 25 Poster
John Lawrence Schick  Offline
Top 25 Poster

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
PA
A 50/50 split arrangement with a collaborator isn't always so cut and dry...

I composed a creepy version of Silent Night (titled Haunted Night). This instrumental track was already signed non-exclusively with a library when a lyricist wanted to add lyrics to my original track (narrative lyrics). I've already received licensing fees for this track long before this lyricist got involved.

This was fine with me, but I consider both versions as separate tracks. In fact, I had her re-title the new version to "Silent Night, Haunted Night". My "Haunted Night" remains mine 100%, while the new version "Silent Night, Haunted Night" is a 50/50 collaboration split.

On the other hand, I composed a song with another lyricist. This song was just signed with an exclusive library. The exclusive library also wanted a piano solo version of this song (which I made). I consider both of these versions as a 50/50 split with the lyricist.

A time frame of events dictates the agreement in my examples.

John

#958620 - 05/07/12 07:18 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 351
Alek Offline
Top 500 Poster
Alek  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 351
Ukraine
John, your case is almost the same as mine that I mentioned above,
so, main point, as for me, is: let's put everything in writing!
Really, if we already licensed our tunes as instrumentals (I did
it exactly), so, why we should split income that those instrumentals are generating with somebody else?
Another thing is complete song with a lyrics.
Well, I'm going to ask this question at linkedin.com groups -
there are music attorneys there and if I'll get an answer then
I'll place it here.
PS. Statement: composer/lyricist = 50/50 or 33/33/33 etc. acts when there is no an agreement between parties involved, right?

#958630 - 05/07/12 08:15 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Alek]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
John Lawrence Schick Offline
Top 25 Poster
John Lawrence Schick  Offline
Top 25 Poster

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
PA
I agree Alec. I would make sure there are separate titles for the instrumental version and song version, so there isn't any confusion.

And as I stated previously; if the song collaboration is finished before an instrumental version, then it's appropriate to credit the 50/50 ownership of both versions - IMO.

Best, John smile

#958643 - 05/07/12 09:27 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
KimberlyinNC Offline
Top 50 Poster
KimberlyinNC  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
North Carolina
I am not asking if I can take someone's music they wrote to my lyrics and use it for MYSELF only, I am saying, would I still be considered a co-write on music that was written to my lyric, but we together wanted to use the instrumental for other purposes? Or is that rude or unfair for me to ask a co-writer for that? I don't know what the legality of that is...anyone? and what would feel fair for both parties

Kim


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com
#958646 - 05/07/12 09:41 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
John Lawrence Schick Offline
Top 25 Poster
John Lawrence Schick  Offline
Top 25 Poster

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 8,282
PA
Originally Posted by KimberlyinNC
I am not asking if I can take someone's music they wrote to my lyrics and use it for MYSELF only, I am saying, would I still be considered a co-write on music that was written to my lyric, but we together wanted to use the instrumental for other purposes? Or is that rude or unfair for me to ask a co-writer for that? I don't know what the legality of that is...anyone? and what would feel fair for both parties

Kim


I would consider yours a 50/50 collaboration - on both versions Kim. When I compose a song from someone's lyrics, often those lyrics guide my melody. In which case, the lyricist would have an active part in the composing of the melody/music.

Though this question should be discussed with your collaborator. Your collaborator may share the same position on this.

Best, John smile

#958651 - 05/07/12 10:20 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: John Lawrence Schick]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
DonnaMarilyn Offline
Top 100 Poster
DonnaMarilyn  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
Netherlands
Kim, check what I wrote above. wink

Donna


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers


#958708 - 05/08/12 03:16 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 854
December X Offline
Top 500 Poster
December X  Offline
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Feb 2012
Posts: 854
It wouldnt be rude to ask, after all you did work together on the same song, and I would say most decent people would say "ok we are a team here, so well sign as a team too, regardless. After all, somebody could decide they like your lyrics, and write new music to it, then that version is pitched and accepted, what happens to the original musician, he could be left out unless you add them as a cowriter?

What should be and what is are not always the same thing though.




#958722 - 05/08/12 07:10 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: December X]  
Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,732
Kolstad Offline
Top 100 Poster
Kolstad  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Dec 2008
Posts: 3,732
Denmark
It's not a silly question at all, Kim. These details are absolutely neccesary to understand when you want to pitch your music in the business world.

What Brian said is the default arrangement, if you don't have an agreement that states otherwise, Kim.

It all comes down to whatever agreement you've worked out. If you don't have one, everything must be considered equal split by default, and you have to depend on your co-writers consent.

If you don't have a specific agreement worked out, you can always ask him/her, and then put it in writing. But you HAVE to agree on something, before you can proceed.

No music library (worth their salt) would sign anything from you, if you are not able to document that you have the rights to the music you pitch. NEVER do that, it's an instant dealbreaker and lawsuit liability.

So, unless you have clear (written) agreements, what Brian said will apply. You are in this together :-) If you do have a clear agreement, it should be obvious what you can and can't do.

Make it a habit of doing the paperwork up front when you are cowriting. Every pro-writer does this, so if your co-writer doesn't, you need to put on the pro hat in that particular collaboration :-)


Buzz Tracks
Making media sweeter

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/buzztracks
#958856 - 05/08/12 10:38 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: DonnaMarilyn]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
KimberlyinNC Offline
Top 50 Poster
KimberlyinNC  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
North Carolina
Originally Posted by DonnaMarilyn
Kim, check what I wrote above. wink

Donna


Hi Donna, yes I saw it, and thanks, it seems there are differing opinions...man, I wish I had asked this while in Nashville in front of lawyers who deal with this for a living

smile

Kim


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com
#958857 - 05/08/12 10:45 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
DonnaMarilyn Offline
Top 100 Poster
DonnaMarilyn  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 4,594
Netherlands
Kim, I asked MAB the identical question, and that's what he told me.

I've also seen that consensus elsewhere. Bearing in mind, it has only to do with the lyric & the music, and whether one will be used without the other.

It's the variations on this theme that are problematic. tongue

Donna


Honour the Earth. Without it, we'd be nowhere.

Life is too important to take seriously.

http://www.reverbnation.com/donnamarilynrichblend

Guild of International Songwriters and Composers


#958858 - 05/08/12 10:50 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
KimberlyinNC Offline
Top 50 Poster
KimberlyinNC  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Nov 2008
Posts: 5,195
North Carolina
Everyone, thanks so much for answering this and giving opinions, it is helpful and something I need to research further. smile

Kim


*Always open to collaborations on my lyrics.. with singers and musicians, but PLEASE contact me before putting work into one--in case someone else has it..thanks!!**
BMI Member All Rights Reserved
http://www.littleikepublishing.com
Email for Song Business Only
littleikeproductions@hotmail.com
#958913 - 05/09/12 03:56 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Indianapolis, IN USA
Kim,

As you describe it, you own that music as much as your co-writer does and he owns your lyric as much as you do. Unless other arrangements were made, once you co-wrote a song with words and music, one can't be separated from the other without mutual agreement. This is why it's a good idea to have a written agreement explaining what it means when you work with someone on a song together so both parties understand what can and can't happen. I wonder if we could get a simple form for our members to use and sign explaining these things. Perhaps Stuart could help.

Also to John: On any version of Silent Night, since that is public domain, what you own is the arrangement, not the song or music. That person could use a different arrangement and not owe you anything, but if they want to use your arrangement then you are entitled to compensation. I suggest a quick chat with your attorney to clarify all this for you.

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#975572 - 09/06/12 06:45 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506
pathardy Online content
Top 500 Poster
pathardy  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506
It depends on your collaboration agreement which can say just about anything two people can agree on.

Get one, that's my advice.


#975618 - 09/06/12 11:55 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: pathardy]  
Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,865
Caroline Offline
Top 100 Poster
Caroline  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: Oct 2007
Posts: 3,865
Texas
You've got so much good information here. Personally I prefer 50/50 if the music was done for the lyric as a collab. Whenever I've wanted to add lyric to a musical piece, I've always expected the composer to retain the right to market their part without a split. But that's only if that was already the intended purpose and I came in with a lyric I felt fit their music. I've had cowrites where the music was sent and I was asked to write lyrics for it as a complete cowrite. I think it's important to discuss expectations up front to avoid questions later.


Caroline


http://www.myspace.com/carolineholder
http://www.soundclick.com/carolinewroteit

Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them! (Dove Dark Chocolate)
#982165 - 10/31/12 04:57 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506
pathardy Online content
Top 500 Poster
pathardy  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506
This is not a silly question, this is an astute question
for which I have had personal experience. And, I researched
and found the answer on the www.copyright.gov website because
I could not afford a lawyer, but the governing code on this
is crystal clear.

If the creator of the music has the music in tangible form
prior to the addition of lyrics, then another creation is
made and a second tangible form with music and lyrics,
the second is called a "derivative copyright", meaning
the creator of the music has a prior copyright. This
means the copyrght owner of the preexisting work can
do anything he or she wants to with the music, unless
there is a collaboration agreement placing restrictions.

According to US Copyright Law ( I got this right from the website ) for
a copyright to exist a work must merely be in tangible form.
If the preexisting work was registered prior to the new work, all the better.


If there is a prior copyright ( by virtue of it being registered or existing
in tangible form prior to the addition of lyrics), then, here is the pertinent
code governing this, which is more general, but it is inclusive of this circumstance
you are in:

Copyright Law So states:

Section 103 (b)
The copyright in a compilation or derivative work extends only to the
material contributed by the author of such work, as distinguished from the preexisting
material employed in the work, and does not imply any exclusive right
in the preexisting material. The copyright in such work is independent of, and
does not affect or enlarge the scope, duration, ownership, or subsistence of, any
copyright protection in the preexisting material.



Per circular one, page 3

Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created,
and a work is "created" when it is fixed in a copy or
phonorecord for the first time. "Copies" are material objects
from which a work can be read or visually perceived either
directly or with the aid of a machine or device, such as books,
manuscripts, sheet music, film, videotape, or microfilm.
"Phonorecords" are material objects embodying fixations of
sounds (excluding, by statutory definition, motion picture
soundtracks), such as cassette tapes, CDs, or vinyl disks.
Thus, for example, a song (the "work") can be fixed in sheet
music ("copies") or in phonograph disks ("phonorecords"),
or both.

If there is no prior copyright on the music ( it did not exist
in tangible form, and/or was not registered prior to the addition of lyrics ),
and you recorded the music and lyrics, or did a "lead sheet" i.e, put it in tangible form,
you are SH*T OUT OF LUCK! Sorry!

If the lyrics are written down, but the music is not recorded, or sheet music is not
created, then the addition of music would be the derivative work, and the reverse applies,
if I am interpreting the law correctly ( that's a mighty big IF ).

FYI: I am not a lawyer, always seek the advise of one, don't rely
or armchair advise givers like me smile


Last edited by pathardy; 10/31/12 05:00 AM.
#982202 - 10/31/12 01:15 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Colin Ward]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Tom Shea Offline
Top 100 Poster
Tom Shea  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Nebraska
If there is an agreement between the parties, the agreement will control. If the agreement does not specifically address this issue but does provide for a 50/50 split, then it would not matter who wrote the music and who wrote the lyrics.

Tom


Thomas Shea

Thomas Shea - Songwriting
http://www.soundclick.com/thomasshea

Justice - Songs
http://www.soundclick.com/justice-nebraska

#982226 - 10/31/12 04:28 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Tom Shea]  
Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Brian Austin Whitney Online content
Brian Austin Whitney  Online Content


Top 10 Poster

Joined: Apr 2001
Posts: 18,020
Indianapolis, IN USA
Pat,

Thanks for posting the language Pat. Always good to have the actual words.

Now my advice to all reading it is to NOT TRY AND INTERPRET IT or make ANY DECISIONS based on your reading of it.

My suggestion, no matter what the above might mean for any situation you are involved it is to TALK TO YOUR CO-WRITER, come to an agreement and write down your agreement in simple straightforward terms. If it were me, I'd agree to split 50/50, talk through various scenarios which are concerns for either and document what you both discussed and sign a copy for each other.

Now, if you desire any other agreement terms other than that, I suggest writing it down, both signing it as well. Remember, you can make any deal with both agree to, but if you plan a long relationship, splitting 50/50 often balances out even if one person does 90% of one song, the next might be the reverse. You might also learn that you're someone who has tons of ideas and can get songs mostly finished but not completely on your own and perhaps your co-writer takes that raw work and finishes it off very nicely. And if you feel the deal becomes too lopsided after some time goes by, then find a new partner and move on, writing newer and better songs. And if one of those older songs turns out to be a hit, remember that even if they only contributed a tiny portion (or even nothing in the end) that the relationship itself, by merely existing and attempting to work together, has an impact on the final work. I have many songs that are co-writes where this dynamic took place, but the song would not be what it is today without that partnership no matter how it divided up. And working with someone by starting out making it clear they aren't worthy to equal credit seems like an unhealthy way to start. Perhaps if you need something other than 50/50, that's not the right partner to work with.

Also, if you have a special circumstance, like a finished lyric or music track ready, if you're not sure you want to share that 50/50, then discuss it BEFORE that other person even sees/hears what you've done and come to a 1 song/scenario agreement and write it down so later there is no question what terms were agreed to.

Bottom lines:

1. Communication early and often and clearly and openly and honestly. You don't have to agree. No one should ever be or feel pressured into working together with uncomfortable or unfair terms they may not agree with or understand. If talking doesn't resolve things for both sides, do NOT start writing together. Unless there's a compelling reason, strongly consider an equal 50/50 split. Then write, write and write some more and don't keep tabs on who writes what. It worked pretty well for Lennon/McCartney.

2. Don't read legalease and assume you fully understand how it might apply to what you are doing. If you have a special situation that is important to you, ask a legal expert to clarify it 100% for you. It might cost a few bucks (don't let someone gouge you) but it is worth knowing and not guessing and hoping for the best. But also keep in mind that few songs ever make a dime. If a 50/50 arrangement seems desperately inappropriate, then it may be worth seeking a lawyer.

Work out the hard part first, so you can relax and have fun creating new works for the world to enjoy!

Brian


Brian Austin Whitney
Founder
Just Plain Folks
jpfolkspro@aol.com
Skype: Brian Austin Whitney

"Don't sit around and wait for success to come to you... it doesn't know the way." -Brian Austin Whitney


#982331 - 11/01/12 01:08 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Brian Austin Whitney]  
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Tom Shea Offline
Top 100 Poster
Tom Shea  Offline
Top 100 Poster

Joined: May 2008
Posts: 4,173
Nebraska
Great advice Brian


Thomas Shea

Thomas Shea - Songwriting
http://www.soundclick.com/thomasshea

Justice - Songs
http://www.soundclick.com/justice-nebraska

#982333 - 11/01/12 01:30 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Tom Shea]  
Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,295
niteshift Offline
Top 50 Poster
niteshift  Offline
Top 50 Poster

Joined: Dec 2006
Posts: 5,295
Sydney, Australia
Hey Caroline,

I'll just speak from practical terms, rather than legal.

To me, when a song is written in collaboration, then it's a 50/50 split. It doesn't matter who wrote what. You are both now married, and cannot be divorced.

To me, ALL proceeds generated from the song are split between the writers 50/50.

I've noticed that all the music libraries and licencing agencies( Audiosparx in particular ) are asking for full songs as well as songs minus the vocal track. There are two reasons for this. Firstly that a musical director may require just music only, and secondly that they are dealing with professional people who own their own master traacks, and can edit them at will.

If they need music from the track ( only ) and we had written the tune together, IMHO, the lyricist would still recieve 50% of revenue, as what has been asked for is simply a derivative of a song written together. Full stop.

That's just the way I work anyways. It may also work in reverse. Perhaps someone likes the lyrics, and would like to use them as spoken word in a project. The composer still gets 50%.

Once the song has been registered with a PRO, with relevant splits, then in my opinion, any revenue is split accordingly.

A simple note here..... work with those you know, and don't be involved with ramdom collabs.

cheers, niteshift

#986359 - 12/02/12 05:54 AM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: Tom Shea]  
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
Michael Ofi Offline
Casual Observer
Michael Ofi  Offline
Casual Observer

Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 6
CA
Tom - you and Brian are both on target. Co-writers' discussing and entering into agreements with regard to foreseeable future situations can avoid such problems.

Prior agreement is ideal, but then in the real world co-writing can happen rather spontaneously. In the absence of agreement to the contrary, the music and lyrics become fused. They are one single work, the parts of which and the whole of which is/are owned by the co-writers/co-owners.

It also needs to be said, though, that the precise facts of the situation must always be considered carefully. The general rule assuming equal ownership of a co-authored work, and that fusing the words and music, may or may not govern. Seek advice from competent counsel in each instance. The details matter.

Also, the comment above with regard to the adding of words or music to a pre-existing work not entitling the one adding material to rights in the pre-existing work is on target as well. Here again, though, agreement between the parties can vary this.

#993780 - 01/29/13 08:25 PM Re: When you collaborate on a song, can music alone be used by either [Re: KimberlyinNC]  
Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506
pathardy Online content
Top 500 Poster
pathardy  Online Content
Top 500 Poster

Joined: Sep 2011
Posts: 506

You can do anything that it says on the collaboration agreement
that both of you decide is mutually acceptable. It can be a handshake,
but you do want to get such things on the up and up, but I'd get it
in writing, to play it safe, as in a collaboration agreement.



On my collaboration agreements I specifify, IF:

1. I composed the music prior to lyric added, without significant changes to the melody to accommodate the lyric, I require 100% clearance of the melody. There are two copyrights,
the first being the melody, the second being the words with melody, which at this juncture is a 'derivative copyright'. Because the melody was created wholly independent and therefore without
due influence from the lyric, I feel it is my right. Note, if you don't get a copyright or at least
put the precomposed melody in material or physical form, you have no prior copyright and rule #2, below, automatically applies. ( This is my interpretation of the law, I am not lawyer!!! ).

2. A lyric is handed to me, and I create a melody from the lyric, or if both are created relatively
in the same time frame whereby both efforts result in the final song, both having a relatively equal influence on the other, then it's 50/50 control down the line.

That's how I do it, anyway. Hope this helps smile

Pat Hardy Lockwood




Support Just Plain Folks

We would like to keep the membership in Just Plain Folks FREE! Your donation helps support the many programs we offer including Road Trips and the Music Awards.


Membership
Join Just Plain Folks
to receive the free
JPNotes Newsletter!
*this is separate from
message board registration*

Newest Members
Wouter, susanltaylor, VanRamsey, Alex Berka, Simone
20875 Registered Users
Forum Statistics
Forums117
Topics116,378
Posts1,098,987
Members20,875
Average Posts Daily43
Most Online1,506
Mar 16th, 2017
Just Plain Quotes
"If you expect perfection from other humans, you'll always be disappointed. If you expect your preconceived notions about someone to be correct, in your mind, they always will be. If you require perfection from someone to break your preconceived notions, you will continue to live with your own personal prejudicial demons for the rest of your life, living in a self created state of ignorance." -Brian Austin Whitney
Today's Birthdays
No Birthdays
Popular Topics(Views)
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.6.0