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Is there a way to track someone's downloads on iTunes or would I need an attorney?
Old 31st January 2007
  #1
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Is there a way to track someone's downloads on iTunes or would I need an attorney?

Checking up on some past ventures, I noticed and artist I once worked with is selling an EP on iTunes that contains a song I co-wrote (I was engineering demo sessions for him when the producer heard a riff I had. He liked it which led to an impromptu jam which led to the song in question). We never settled on a song split though I did sign and return papers to his attorney when he was still on a major label.

Do I need to hire an attorney again in order to find out if his EP is actually selling (ie is there actually money I am owed) or is there a way for me to find out without having to shell out dough over a project I never got paid for in the first place?
Old 31st January 2007
  #2
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

get an entertainment lawyer. whether or not he's selling--you need to establish this product as yours for any future legal battles (when perhaps it is selling).

--jon
Old 31st January 2007
  #3
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T_R_S's Avatar
You would have to contact the label and get an audit done (which would be done at your expense)
Apple can also be audited as well, and of course this is also done at your expense.
You don;t need a lawyer just a audit accountant.
I assume all you want to know is sales numbers ...
Old 31st January 2007
  #4
Gear Head
 

I'm not that certain, but I think it's more of a publisher/PRO issue than a record label issue, since you're a co-writer and not part of the artist royalty scheme... and all the publishing royalty rates for digital downloads and ways of payment are still getting worked out (by Congress I think)... I think Harry Fox Agency is going to be tracking all that, but a lot of it's still in the works as far as digital downloads go..

If you're really curious, subscribe to Billboard and read all the copyright info.. or if you just want to be paid, do what the other two guys said to do
Old 31st January 2007
  #5
Gear Addict
 

Are riffs copywritable? I thought they weren't. I thought just melody and lyrics were copywritable.
Old 31st January 2007
  #6
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JonCraig's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bluegrasser View Post
Are riffs copywritable?
depends on how original the riff, the judge, the lawyers, etc. etc. (ie, you probably couldn't copyright an ac/dc riff, but probably could the one from "sweet child of mine".)

--jon
Old 31st January 2007
  #7
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stepwriterun's Avatar
 

If you haven't already, take a look at the papers that you signed and see what you agreed to when you signed the papers then, if you decide to get an attorney involved, look for an entertainment lawyer. Attorney referral services operated by your local or state bar association or even a local musician's union (or a national union) would be a good place to look.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jazzpunk View Post
Checking up on some past ventures, I noticed and artist I once worked with is selling an EP on iTunes that contains a song I co-wrote (I was engineering demo sessions for him when the producer heard a riff I had. He liked it which led to an impromptu jam which led to the song in question). We never settled on a song split though I did sign and return papers to his attorney when he was still on a major label.

Do I need to hire an attorney again in order to find out if his EP is actually selling (ie is there actually money I am owed) or is there a way for me to find out without having to shell out dough over a project I never got paid for in the first place?
Old 1st February 2007
  #8
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Thanks for the info guys. Looks like the best thing to do is contact the original attorney who assisted in getting me the songwriting split in contractual form to begin with.

While I don't think you can copyright riffs or chord changes you can sure as hell make sure you get a share of the songwriting when lyrics and melodies are written around a piece of music you brought to the table. Do not let anyone tell you otherwise.
Old 1st February 2007
  #9
Before wading into the ring with a lawyer, would it not be wise first to

a) simply contact the artist and have a conversation?
b) try to get a vague handle on the level of sales?

I set a rap legend up with a lawyer once to fight a small case, years later I asked him how he got on..

he said "the lawyer won me $7,000!"

I said "that's cool!"

He said, "yeah, but his bill was $8,000!"

Old 1st February 2007
  #10
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Jazzpunk's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jules View Post
Before wading into the ring with a lawyer, would it not be wise first to

a) simply contact the artist and have a conversation?
b) try to get a vague handle on the level of sales?

I set a rap legend up with a lawyer once to fight a small case, years later I asked him how he got on..

he said "the lawyer won me $7,000!"

I said "that's cool!"

He said, "yeah, but his bill was $8,000!"

LMAO...duly noted (at least I can still laugh about it!).
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