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Writing credits-what to do
Old 26th July 2005
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goldphinga's Avatar

Writing credits-what to do

Ok this is the (confusing) sketch!

I'm just finishing my album off and have a small dilema regarding writing credits on two tracks.

Two friends were present in the session when the said tracks were conceived. They were responsible for the initial beat that i wrote my keys parts for both tunes, and for editing some of the audio with myself. At the end of these sessions we basically had a good quality finished demo.

For my album i have used those original demos/concepts as a starting point for the new versions which contain a couple of the original parts but none of the original beats that were done by my friends. I'm confused about how to credit them. Should it be a writing credit?or co-production credit?or something else.

The main problem i have is they played no part int the new versions, only the old versions but i feel without them in the original sessions the tune wouldn't exist at all.

Old 26th July 2005
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Jamz's Avatar
Originally Posted by goldphinga
i feel without them in the original sessions the tune wouldn't exist at all.
Sounds like a writing credit is in order. Dividing up writers percenatges is a good thing to settle on sooner rather than later.
Equal splits or % based on input.

Depending on your relationship with these people and what they're expections are could determine whether any kind of a coproduction credit should be considered.
Did they bring up production credits? Are these good friends with whom you wish to continue a creative relationship in the future?
Old 26th July 2005
Lives for gear

Being a composer, this happens sometimes to me, but not very often. Being that you are asking this question to begin with, probably means that you feel the answer is 'yes' they should have song writing credit. Obviously without their contribution, however small it might be, you wouldn't have what you finally came up with.

At the end of the day, there are many more songs to write, but not so many friends to be had. I would suggest bringing it up with them. Most people are reasonable. Just share the final song idea with them and say, wow, that turned out really great. Your beat really inspired me to come up with this. Ask them what they want % wise. They might say they want nothing. Communication is the key
Old 26th July 2005 | Show parent
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Ruudman's Avatar

Still, even if they'd say that they won't have any,
it's wise to write them some credit. At least if they're good friends,
and you get a hit with it

Old 26th July 2005 | Show parent
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wallace's Avatar

I asked Moses Avalon about that once and he said (in his music contulting opinion) that beats were not copywriteable and that only the melody and lyrics were what could be considered songwriting, at least in theory (and from my memory). In reality it might be different.

I don't know, it sounds like maybe you wrote them out of the new version, although it could be argued that they wrote part of the song. How intricate were the beats they contributed? Aren't the "beat creators" usually credited as producers in hip-hop? Obviously a music attorney could offer more advice.

If you feel like without the the tune wouldn't exist, then they probably helped write the tune, and you could give at least a small percent of the writing credit. Like someone else said, there are more songs to be written.
Old 26th July 2005 | Show parent
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robmix's Avatar
Old school logic says that only melody and lyrics are copyrightable however in hiphop and R&B the beat guys are considered writers and often producers. Also, in this case since their initial track inspired the song they still get credit on the new version.
Old 2nd September 2006 | Show parent
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just reviving this thread.
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