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Copy rights
Old 1 week ago
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Copy rights

Good morning slutz! Question! Should a songwriter copyright their own song, before handing it to a producer to create an arrangement for it?
Old 1 week ago
  #2
Lives for gear
 

No pat answer to this, but I would. I would copyright any song before handing it to anyone, really. Though actually if possible I would copyright an entire album or as many songs as possible as a group vs one at a time. Save a lot of money that way.
Old 1 week ago
  #3
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
Good morning slutz! Question! Should a songwriter copyright their own song, before handing it to a producer to create an arrangement for it?
Yes.

Technically the song is copyrighted once it's in a "fixed" format (music and lyrics printed out and/or a recording of the final version), but it isn't registered until you fill out the form (and pay the fee). And until it's actually registered, there's no proof of when the song was copyrighted.

And if someone's doing an arrangement for it, it won't be in a "fixed" format until it's recorded and/or the score is printed and approved.

I would copyright each song individually, too. Copyrighting an entire album of songs does not assign a copyright to each individual song; it only assigns a copyright to the recording of the album as a whole.

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #4
Lives for gear
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
Good morning slutz! Question! Should a songwriter copyright their own song, before handing it to a producer to create an arrangement for it?
This is kind of amateur hour stuff, I.E people that are all paranoid about their songs getting pinched don't realize that EVERYONE'S songs get pinched, the song you wrote was pinched....NOBODY CARES,

And nobody...nobody that MATTERS, steals songs note for note, why would they? If they want "That type of song" they will write a BETTER one, NOBODY thinks you perfected the "....." type of song, so relax, pros are CONSTANTLY dealing with the same song re-written day-in-and-day-out, the thought that something so awesome an original would come along and tempt them to steal it note for note, just doesn't happen,

Pro songwriters write more songs then you could imagine, everything gets recycled and stolen, the one thing that CAN'T be stolen is your unique delivery in that style, THAT is what you bring to the table that is special and you can't steal that, nobody would even try,

If it makes you feel better (and I suppose it is possible that if your song is a hit, the producer will sue and claim they are owed writer's share...I have one friend from a famous band, who used this "unknown" female singer to duet on one of his songs, a single, and her manager calls him up and starts demanding writers share, though all she did was sing what she was told to sing, needless to say, this girl has never been heard from since....but it does happen) do an acoustic demo, email the song to yourself, then send the producer a "confirmation" email I.E "Just confirming that we are going to start work on my track "..." tomorow.....OR, just get the guy to sign a deal memo stating the terms of your working together,

I.E "So-and-So acknowledges that "production" and all modification of the work executed whilst holding the title of "Producer" of said work, will not constitute equity in the so-called "Writer's share" or "Publishers share" of the work upon completion or at any other time in any territory in the universe, known or unknown, regardless of modifications to the work when compared with the same work prior to the "production" process having been consummated, and compensation owed to the "producer" for all dubties, enhasements, improvments so for so with, shall be therefore limited to, and be no less than, the stakes outlined in section 2 (Compensation) Further to this no new claim of stake will be petitioned for by the "producer" founded upon any new media or distrobutions systems, known or unknown in any territory at anytime so fore and so with.....(F**KING Leagalese)

You are then going to have to put in writing what he IS getting for doing it, it's better to do things this way actually, now that I've thought about it, after a few time and money wasting plays by former co-workers, I've made sure all projects BEGIN with a written agreement for years now......do that, sign it, get it notarized, make sure you both have copies.
Old 1 week ago
  #5
Lives for gear
What you have to be worried about are publishing rights. That's what people steal. If you don't reserve your publishing rights and you have a song out on the web, somebody could claim the publishing rights and get paid every time your song gets played, without you even knowing about it. So you could get a bunch of hits and be all happy, meanwhile somebody made a few hundred dollars off you over the course of a year. And people that do this, do it to a lot of people that don't reserve their publishing rights, so they can make a full time and very generous living off of other people's hard work and talent. And those hard-working, talented people are perfectly content with getting heard, not realizing how much compensation they've lost.

And to top it off, the worst part is, if somebody has reserved publishing rights for your song, because you didn't, you have to take them to court or get them to sell those rights back to you. In fact, they could even have your posts of that music pulled for infringing their rights. They can win in court as well if you never tried to obtain publishing rights and protection. They could end up being legally allowed to tell you what to do with your own music.

All this regardless of whether or not your music is Copyrighted, because that is separate from publishing rights. You do have to have your music Copyrighted in order to get publishing rights though, so it is the first step. But publishing rights are where you want to focus your attention.
Old 1 week ago
  #6
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Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
I would copyright each song individually, too. Copyrighting an entire album of songs does not assign a copyright to each individual song; it only assigns a copyright to the recording of the album as a whole.
I'm not an attorney, but I'm not sure that's accurate, at least in the US. Everyone I know that's involved in this stuff registers song copyrights in batches. It doesn't have anything to do with whether the songs are all part of the same "recording of the album."

Last edited by Brent Hahn; 1 week ago at 08:24 PM..
Old 1 week ago
  #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
If it makes you feel better <> do an acoustic demo, email the song to yourself, then send the producer a "confirmation" email I.E "Just confirming that we are going to start work on my track "...
What does that do, besides make me feel better? I don't even get why I should feel better. There used to be this old wives' tale about snail-mailing yourself a tape and not opening it because the postmark would legally represent a time stamp. That would at least make me feel better because I get actual mail so seldom these days.

Quote:
I've made sure all projects BEGIN with a written agreement for years now......do that, sign it, get it notarized, make sure you both have copies.
Maybe notarization works differently where you live. Here, a notary public only embosses or stamps a document after they have personally witnessed its signing by all parties, and have seen and documented legal identification for each of them. If there are multiple signed originals originals that need to be notarized, you'll pay separately for each of them. But nobody actually does that. And everyone involved in the deal gets a copy.

FWIW, I've signed a fair number of contracts and deal memos with outfits like Disney, Warner Bros., CBS... folks who aren't messing around. And I've never seen anything like that get notarized.
Old 1 week ago
  #8
Lives for gear
 

I've never copyrighted anything in my life before sending it out to industry people or collaborators
Old 1 week ago
  #9
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
This is kind of amateur hour stuff, I.E people that are all paranoid about their songs getting pinched don't realize that EVERYONE'S songs get pinched, the song you wrote was pinched....NOBODY CARES,

And nobody...nobody that MATTERS, steals songs note for note, why would they? If they want "That type of song" they will write a BETTER one, NOBODY thinks you perfected the "....." type of song, so relax, pros are CONSTANTLY dealing with the same song re-written day-in-and-day-out, the thought that something so awesome an original would come along and tempt them to steal it note for note, just doesn't happen,

Pro songwriters write more songs then you could imagine, everything gets recycled and stolen, the one thing that CAN'T be stolen is your unique delivery in that style, THAT is what you bring to the table that is special and you can't steal that, nobody would even try,

If it makes you feel better (and I suppose it is possible that if your song is a hit, the producer will sue and claim they are owed writer's share...I have one friend from a famous band, who used this "unknown" female singer to duet on one of his songs, a single, and her manager calls him up and starts demanding writers share, though all she did was sing what she was told to sing, needless to say, this girl has never been heard from since....but it does happen) do an acoustic demo, email the song to yourself, then send the producer a "confirmation" email I.E "Just confirming that we are going to start work on my track "..." tomorow.....OR, just get the guy to sign a deal memo stating the terms of your working together,

I.E "So-and-So acknowledges that "production" and all modification of the work executed whilst holding the title of "Producer" of said work, will not constitute equity in the so-called "Writer's share" or "Publishers share" of the work upon completion or at any other time in any territory in the universe, known or unknown, regardless of modifications to the work when compared with the same work prior to the "production" process having been consummated, and compensation owed to the "producer" for all dubties, enhasements, improvments so for so with, shall be therefore limited to, and be no less than, the stakes outlined in section 2 (Compensation) Further to this no new claim of stake will be petitioned for by the "producer" founded upon any new media or distrobutions systems, known or unknown in any territory at anytime so fore and so with.....(F**KING Leagalese)

You are then going to have to put in writing what he IS getting for doing it, it's better to do things this way actually, now that I've thought about it, after a few time and money wasting plays by former co-workers, I've made sure all projects BEGIN with a written agreement for years now......do that, sign it, get it notarized, make sure you both have copies.
Damn bro! Thanks! I guess lol. I didn’t realize my question was that small change. But to each his own. The question was for a rapper/songwriter friend of mine. That was sent a track threw email, from a music producer. He took it a studio he knows about. Recorded his vocal parts to it and sent it back to the producer. The producer copyrighted the whole complete track, under his name, basically stated lyrics, music, sound recording and production under his own name. Without consulting my friend. And now the song just got licensed for a tv show. So! Yeah! How amateur is that? Lol. I’ll wait for this sarcastic response!
Old 1 week ago
  #10
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sagicorn35 View Post
How amateur is that?
It's naive, for sure.

Quote:
I’ll wait for this sarcastic response!
Sarcasm is when you say something but mean the opposite. No need for that here.

And I'm curious -- the scenario you describe in your first post is pretty much the opposite of what you say happened to your friend. Why is that?
Old 1 week ago
  #11
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's naive, for sure.



Sarcasm is when you say something but mean the opposite. No need for that here.

And I'm curious -- the scenario you describe in your first post is pretty much the opposite of what you say happened to your friend. Why is that?
No! Nothing opposite. I asked in that way because I feel maybe that’s what he should have done first. Copyright his song. Then record the arranged version for the producer. But of course it’s ametuer, but I think it’s pretty obvious right!
Old 1 week ago
  #12
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
It's naive, for sure.



Sarcasm is when you say something but mean the opposite. No need for that here.

And I'm curious -- the scenario you describe in your first post is pretty much the opposite of what you say happened to your friend. Why is that?
With all due respect. I mean no harm to anybody on gearslutz. But I usually get sarcastic responses most of the time. But! This is, I guess what happens when you think other parties are gonna take care of your business. I love to hear what other musicians think. Especially scenarios like this.
Old 1 week ago
  #13
Lives for gear
 

Don't take the "amateur" too personally. But he's correct, in the world of professional songwriters and producers working with publishers/managers/A&Rs, everyone is sending stuff around to each other without any copyright steps, probably a 1000 times/day.

There's some degree of self-governance at play in the professional world though, as this will be among people who are "solicited" (ie vouched for/bought into the system) and have reputations to maintain which creates a natural sort of check and balance.

This is why most of these people won't accept "unsolicited" material, they only want to work with people who have been vouched for. The amateur music world offers way more ways of having people interfere and screw things up in various ways.
Old 1 week ago
  #14
Gear Maniac
 

Thread Starter
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Don't take the "amateur" too personally. But he's correct, in the world of professional songwriters and producers working with publishers/managers/A&Rs, everyone is sending stuff around to each other without any copyright steps, probably a 1000 times/day.

There's some degree of self-governance at play in the professional world though, as this will be among people who are "solicited" (ie vouched for/bought into the system) and have reputations to maintain which creates a natural sort of check and balance.

This is why most of these people won't accept "unsolicited" material, they only want to work with people who have been vouched for. The amateur music world offers way more ways of having people interfere and screw things up in various ways.
New Guy. Thanks for clearing that up and taking time to explain. I appreciate your wisdom. Thanks bro.
Old 1 week ago
  #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ShadowsOfLife View Post
I would copyright each song individually, too. Copyrighting an entire album of songs does not assign a copyright to each individual song; it only assigns a copyright to the recording of the album as a whole.
The legal protection is the same. If an entire album is copyrighted, it covers each song. Any song illegally copied from that album is covered under that copyright. It would be idiotic to submit a copyright for every single song. Probably why this is not the norm (at least among pros, I can't speak to others).


Quote:
Originally Posted by terrible.dee View Post
This is kind of amateur hour stuff, I.E people that are all paranoid about their songs getting pinched don't realize that EVERYONE'S songs get pinched, the song you wrote was pinched....NOBODY CARES,


And nobody...nobody that MATTERS, steals songs note for note, why would they? If they want "That type of song" they will write a BETTER one, NOBODY thinks you perfected the "....." type of song, so relax, pros are CONSTANTLY dealing with the same song re-written day-in-and-day-out, the thought that something so awesome an original would come along and tempt them to steal it note for note, just doesn't happen,

Pro songwriters write more songs then you could imagine, everything gets recycled and stolen
I hate to break it to you, but you/your corner of the world does not equal the entire world, so statements like "everyone's songs" and "nobody cares" are meaningless (the same would be true if I or anyone else said it, btw). And if "everything gets stolen" that would be a reason to care and engage in a little CYA - ya think?

Further, someone doesn't have to rip off an entire song "note for note" - they can steal large or key portions of it though, and still be held liable for theft.

Yeah I know, odds of this even happening, let alone the right people finding out about it and winning in court are small, but IMO it's worth it for the peace of mind.
Old 1 week ago
  #16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
I'm not an attorney, but I'm not sure that's accurate, at least in the US. Everyone I know that's involved in this stuff registers song copyrights in batches. It doesn't have anything to do with whether the songs are all part of the same "recording of the album."
You can register songs in batches, or multiple songs at a time. That's not the same as registering a finished "album", which I wanted to differentiate for the OP.

Steve
Old 1 week ago
  #17
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by psykostx View Post
If you don't reserve your publishing rights and you have a song out on the web, somebody could claim the publishing rights and get paid every time your song gets played, without you even knowing about it. So you could get a bunch of hits and be all happy, meanwhile somebody made a few hundred dollars off you over the course of a year. And people that do this, do it to a lot of people that don't reserve their publishing rights, so they can make a full time and very generous living off of other people's hard work and talent. And those hard-working, talented people are perfectly content with getting heard, not realizing how much compensation they've lost.
I've never heard of any instances of this, much less that it's a wide-spread problem. Have there been articles about it?
Old 1 week ago
  #18
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Owen L T's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by newguy1 View Post
Don't take the "amateur" too personally. But he's correct, in the world of professional songwriters and producers working with publishers/managers/A&Rs, everyone is sending stuff around to each other without any copyright steps, probably a 1000 times/day.
From a CYA perspective, it also doesn't hurt that when you email a file to someone, you've got pretty compelling evidence that the song you were emailing had, indeed, been in existence at that date and time - and that you were the one from whom it originated.
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