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#1
So I left my old band a few months ago, and now they're making a demo. One of the songs I created the main chord progression (sorta swung I-bIII-II-IV) thing, and a similar progression for the chorus. Should I get credit?
#3
Do you have proof that you wrote it?
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#4
Well, if you wrote the part as a member of the band, and then left, I'd say you don't have much leverage. I guess if they were to include a booklet with the demo you could request they put you down as a writer on that particular track.
#5
Anyone could have written that progression. You can't copyright a progression, IIRC, because it's so easy for two people to come across the same one, so I think it would be silly to insist getting credit for writing one.
#6
Sorry, I don't mean to be a jerk, but you have a blank profile.

You ask about credit for a few bars? What do you think? It's gonna be a big hit, and you want your name on it?. I don't mean to be harsh, but get real. If I take credit for a song, its because I write the lyrics, and outline the structure of a song. Good or bad, the concept is mine. I'll take the accolades, as well as the criticism.

Yes, I trust the people I play with to compose their own parts, but I provided the raw material. We all know what we did. If I move along, what I wrote and conceived is mine. Their parts can be replaced, without copying them, and sometimes the new parts are better.

If you really want credit, have a concept, and direct what it becomes. If your just putting your 2 cents worth in, that's about what it is worth, credit or not.
#8
If it wasn't reduced into material form it can't be covered by copyright.

You have to decide how much you actually wrote, there are separate copyrights for music and lyrics.

However you most likely just wrote a chord progression, and the other guys actually did something with it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Yes CODE, I remember everything. My curse. If you think people like me(or Koslack)are unforgiving, you ain't seen nothin' yet. We're actually nicer than many people you will run into if you choose to play this game. It is about the music, but it is also about what you bring to the party. You will be judged on every aspect of what you do. We may not be nice, but I think we are realistic.

My first band was copyrighting songs, and the keyboard player wanted "credit", for an 8 bar break. 20 seconds? Let's just say that didn't fly with me. I reworked the song with another band, no keys, and I liked it better. His part was incidental, and not a key component of the song. If you make trouble, I will just write around you
#12
A band I used to be in is in the middle of recording an album with and is still performing a song that i entirely wrote the lyrics to.

But being as we're all still mates i let em do it. (The lyrics are awful anyway)
#13
Quote by chokmool

My first band was copyrighting songs, and the keyboard player wanted "credit", for an 8 bar break. 20 seconds? Let's just say that didn't fly with me. I reworked the song with another band, no keys, and I liked it better. His part was incidental, and not a key component of the song. If you make trouble, I will just write around you


I didn't know you played for Procol Harum.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#14

So I left my old band a few months ago, and now they're making a demo. One of the songs I created the main chord progression (sorta swung I-bIII-II-IV) thing, and a similar progression for the chorus. Should I get credit?


As far as I can tell, you're legally entitled to nothing. Chord progressions absolutely cannot be copyrighted and there's no way you could claim even a co-writing credit on the track.

You could ask them to include you, but they're under no obligation to, and if they have any common sense they won't. It just adds confusion and potentially opens the door to issues later on (Which they will win, but who needs extra hassle?)
#15
Good one, AlanHB.
I'm old, but not that old. I'll meet you on The Bridge of Sighs in about 30-40 years. Don't be late. I've got your Procol Harum....dang kids....get off my lawn!!!!...
#16
Quote by chokmool
Good one, AlanHB.
I'm old, but not that old. I'll meet you on The Bridge of Sighs in about 30-40 years. Don't be late. I've got your Procol Harum....dang kids....get off my lawn!!!!...


Haha. I couldn't help myself.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#17
Alright, no worries. For clarification, the two progressions, are, well, continued throughout the song, and it has been recorded in two versions on video. But ah well.

Do I have to work on my profile?
#18
It is just a thing I have about profiles. You are here asking for advice, but I know nothing about you, or where you are with your music. I'm lazy. If I can click on your profile and see what level you are at, it is easier to advise.

Take those progressions, and build a song out of them, then take credit.

To Alan, I understand. If you work in the arts long enough, you develop a very thick emotional skin, and a sardonic sense of humor. Well, I did.
#19
Quote by chokmool
If you think people like me(or Koslack)are unforgiving, you ain't seen nothin' yet. We're actually nicer than many people you will run into if you choose to play this game. It is about the music, but it is also about what you bring to the party. You will be judged on every aspect of what you do. We may not be nice, but I think we are realistic.

I respect that, Cut through the crap and give it to 'em straight. Why aren't there more people like you and Koslack?
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#20
R&RStar
Trust and truth. Seemingly simple concepts, right?

Far too many people don't want to hear the truth, and afraid to trust or be trusted. They want to exist in the bubble of their own personal reality. They want others to tell them it is okay to not be honest. Art, in whatever form it takes, is about honesty. Am I always totally and blatantly honest? No. I'll skirt the truth to not hurt someone's feelings, or even water down the truth a bit at times, but when it comes to my work, I try very hard to never lie. Another good word is integrity. It takes some people longer than others to figure this stuff out. Some never do.
#21
Chok and AlanHB have it down.

For more info on writing credits, etc., see the copyright for dummies thread.

https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1053221

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#22
OP: hurry up and record your own demo of the track, mail it to yourself and DO NOT OPEN IT! if your package is post-marked before their demo comes out, in court, that makes the song partially yours (assuming your part is significant and similar to what actually gets recorded). You could also talk to your old bandmates before hand and explain that you'd like to structure a deal for your compositions, but if you've got nothing to back it up (like PROOF that you wrote it) they'd be well within the law to tell you to go F'yourself and not give you a dime or credits on the album... but in all likelihood they won't make a dime off it and neither would you, so this is all really a moot point.
#23
Quote by axemanchris
Chok and AlanHB have it down.


Well almost, Chok was ordered to pay 40% of the royalties prospectively, despite writing the keyboard player out.

Who would have thought that 8 bar solo accounted for 40% of the song? Amazing!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#24
Alright, I got it :P. Was just a minor point, because, as said, it's not going to make millions of dollars. *Slowly works on that profile*
#25
Quote by TheIrishPatriot
Alright, I got it :P. Was just a minor point, because, as said, it's not going to make millions of dollars. *Slowly works on that profile*


More importantly, if it did, you wouldn't get a penny.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#26
TIP
You've been pretty cool about this. It is a point that people often don't get. I think you've gotten it now. Unless something hits really big, there's little to no money in it for you.

BTW Alan, Have you got my shell corporation set up in the Caymans yet?
#27
Quote by GrisKy
OP: hurry up and record your own demo of the track, mail it to yourself and DO NOT OPEN IT! if your package is post-marked before their demo comes out, in court, that makes the song partially yours (assuming your part is significant and similar to what actually gets recorded). You could also talk to your old bandmates before hand and explain that you'd like to structure a deal for your compositions, but if you've got nothing to back it up (like PROOF that you wrote it) they'd be well within the law to tell you to go F'yourself and not give you a dime or credits on the album... but in all likelihood they won't make a dime off it and neither would you, so this is all really a moot point.


No. Not even close. He doesn't have anything to copyright.

Let's say the poster took your advice. In a similar case, another envelope is opened up in court (assuming it is even allowed at all, but that's a whole other kettle of fish), and a recording of Wonderwall is played. The target of Oasis' claim is Green Day with their song Boulevard of Broken Dreams. Oasis proves conclusively that Wonderwall was written first.

Judge laughs.... "these aren't even the same song!! At all!! I now direct Oasis to pay all relevant costs pursuant to this case. NEXT!!"

(no this didn't actually happen, but as an example, it fits perfectly)

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#28
Sorry chok - I'm not into corporations law. However mergers and acquisitions I can do.

And I'll add;

TIP
If you are worried that someone will run off with your music, after you write the song immediately record it in demo form, and upload it to UG. That way you can present a copy to your bandmates to hear what it sounds like to you, and it also extends your profile.

Note that the time the song was uploaded is recorded on UG, and could hypothetically be used as evidence you wrote the song before the band ran off with it. Of course it's in material form as well, so you've nearly covered all your bases for protection/awesomeness.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#29
Dang it, I was going to stop on this one, but I'll throw another case at ya'll,

The NYT printed a picture of Obama in their paper during the '08 election. An artist took the image, altered it, and made a poster people loved, and bought. The photographer who took the pic, sees it, and gets PO'ed. His problem is, he was on assignment for the NYT, and they owned the picture, as "intellectual property". Who wins? Not the original photographer, he had no standing in a US court. The NYT had to file the legitimate suit, because they owned the original picture. The artist claimed he had made a substantial change to the image, and he owned the copyright of the new image. Eventually the courts agreed with the artist, and the NYT lost. The artist who made the poster, did it more to promote his candidate than for monetary gain, but probably spent a wad defending himself. In my mind, the lawyers who got paid to take this all to the courthouse actually won. They had no vested interest in the dispute, but got paid lots of money, because someone got their panties in a knot.

The moral to the story? Pick your battles wisely.
#30
It's mildly cool having people who actually know the law here on UG - correct a few myths. How many people have legal experience/training? Not criticising your advice if not, it'd just be interesting to see.
#31
One of us on this very page in this very thread does, but not me.

Nobody on this whole forum, AFAIK, has a background as an accredited copyright lawyer or entertainment lawyer.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#32
Sorry Chris, I went out of bounds.

You are correct to note that we that most of us are not qualified to give legal advice. I do watch cases, and try to understand them. The people who take it to the extreme, often set precedents, and I try to keep up. Because of the internet and other new technology, copyright law has become very fluid, so I find it very interesting. I will consider what I post more thoughtfully.
#33
Quote by chokmool
Sorry Chris, I went out of bounds.

You are correct to note that we that most of us are not qualified to give legal advice. I do watch cases, and try to understand them. The people who take it to the extreme, often set precedents, and I try to keep up. Because of the internet and other new technology, copyright law has become very fluid, so I find it very interesting. I will consider what I post more thoughtfully.


same goes for me. if i remember correctly, the substance from my previous post was from an example given in Donald Passman's book on entertainment business, but it very well could've had a more detailed scenario. i believe one of the major points was that it would infact be the same song coming out of the envelope, though i wonder what "same" really means in a courtroom... like, what if it was an acoustic version? would that be the "same?" in either case, i am not a lawyer.
#34
My intellectual property is basically worthless.

In the business that actually pays my bills, questions like this come up frequently. I advise all artists who have the ability to go to the level of publishing their work to find legal counsel. Sometimes I give them a bit of a push.

My point earlier was not to advise, but to inform, and hope that you guys keep your heads in the game. Just from my own experience, taking it to court is the last resort. People can be reasonable on occasion.
#35
Quote by Samzawadi
It's mildly cool having people who actually know the law here on UG - correct a few myths. How many people have legal experience/training? Not criticising your advice if not, it'd just be interesting to see.


Yeah I have a degree in law, and am currently studying for the Aussie equivalent to your bar exam so I can be licensed.

That said, there are quite a few people on this forum whom are more familiar with the laws surrounding the entertainment industry as they've been working in it for years and have had to learn, whilst I'm still a student of law (of sorts) and haven't encountered entertainment law first-hand as such.

However I'm awesome at drafting pleas for DUIs so message me when you do the drinky drinky broom broom
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#36
Quote by AlanHB
However I'm awesome at drafting pleas for DUIs so message me when you do the drinky drinky broom broom


I have so many friends back in Texas that could use a guy like you.
#37
Quote by GrisKy
I have so many friends back in Texas that could use a guy like you.


If they can set me up with hot southern cheerleaders I'm there!
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#38
Quote by chokmool
Sorry Chris, I went out of bounds.



How so? Sure, you're not a lawyer, but you know what you're talking about. I'm not one either. No matter.

I think anyone who relies on an internet forum for their so-called legal advice really gets what they deserve.

Even a lawyer who was posting on here *should* tell you that what they advise on line is not intended to be formal legal counsel, and that a person should really actually *see* a lawyer to discuss the specifics of their situation.


CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#39

Even a lawyer who was posting on here *should* tell you that what they advise on line is not intended to be formal legal counsel, and that a person should really actually *see* a lawyer to discuss the specifics of their situation.

Even a lawyer who was posting on here *should* tell you that what they advise on line is not intended to be formal legal counsel, and that a person should really actually *see* a lawyer to discuss the specifics of their situation.


I'm happily waiting for the day someone actually sues a lawyer and says 'I took your advice on the internets, I lost loads of money, you have to recompense me'. Sure it will happen soon. [:P]
#40
Thanks Chris,
As I said this stuff comes up quite a bit with visual artists too. People ask me if they can do certain things with images. I try to explain what I know, but the law does change, sometimes rapidly depending upon cases. I can't keep up with all of them.

I respect your wisdom(mod or not), I thought I may have gotten too specific. No problem.
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