#1
first, am i in the right forum to ask this?

so i remember reading something awhile back saying whoever wrote the msic legally owns it even when copyrighting hasnt been done yet. does the same apply with writing it on guitar pro (note* i do write my riffs on real guitar first then tab it out)

and what if these songs (on guitar pro) were written before starting a band. does it then become the bands song or still mine but in a sense letting the band name use the music?
#2
I am not a lawyer.

My understanding is that what you write is copyrighted the moment you put it in fixed form - whether that's writing it down, recording it, or whatever. But your legal remedies are limited (no punitive damages) if you don't also register the copyright.

If you've written a song and you let the band use it, in no way does it become a song that the band owns, although the band, obviously, owns that performance of the song.
#4
In theory yes, once you've written something down you hold the copyright. In practicality the issue is really tricky and I don't fully know a lot about it. I'm not sure how it works in a band situation but I think the original writer would hold copyright.
#5
Well there are a lot of questions raised here.

1. Is your song currently covered by copyright laws? Sure. It's in material form, and hopefully it fulfills the "originality" requirements - ie. has a melody, is more than just a chord progression.

2. What happens if a band gets involved with the same song? Well if there's a singer, and you haven't written a melody line for the vocals which is then used by the singer, then they can be entitled to at least 50% of the copyright, as they're providing the primary melody line.

On that second point I know that axemanchris and I disagree. His argument is that the vocals are the primary melody line, the main feature that distinguishes one song from the next, and for that reason the person who writes the vocal melody line should take 100%. I am of the view that in some situations an instrumental part can provide an additional second melody line which is also identifiable. For that reason if a person writes such a part they should be entitled to some of the musical copyright also, but not as much as the vocalist. I'm thinking 25-40% depending on the part.

If you're really interested in the area, I'd highly recommend checking out the Whiter Shade of Pale case, which involves songwriting entitlements of session musicians.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
ok, well me and 2 buddies of mine wrote 6 songs. we had a band before consisted of another 5 or so before hand but that ended so with these newer songs we felt we improved and used a band to just get it out tjere you know? we found a drummer who we thought was good but could not keep tempo, remember the structures and just couldnt play what are our ideas were on guitar pro which better fitted the songs. my 2 buddies ended up quitting the band. we then replaced them and played 2 shows and then i left cause things were getting rediculous with the drummer and the replacements. before i quit we recorded 5 songs which the drummer payed for and because of that he feels he has ownership of the songs when i believe he just bought the means to record the songs. it was only me and the vocalist who even recorded anyways. the engineer decided the drummer sucked ass and we went prog. so before i quit i told him about what i read about how the original 3 wrote the music so its ours. i even showed him what i read and he agreed, later i find out hes trying to keep our songs. and just making the argument that bthe music was for the band when we wrote some songs before it was formed and it was for us not the band to begin with. even when we wrote songs while the band had already formed it was still just for our pleasure and used the band to show it off and get a response of what are music is to others.
#7
Well, the fact that he paid for the recording might say something about his ownership of the recording - but doesn't give him ownership of the songs in absence of some sort of agreement to that effect.

I'd go ahead and play them and not worry about it, but I'm not a lawyer. And it's quite possible that this guy could get a lawyer and make some trouble for you, although from my non-lawyery perspective I don't see how he gets there.

If he was talking about owning the recordings, that's one thing. But the songs is something else.
#8
Quote by HotspurJr
Well, the fact that he paid for the recording might say something about his ownership of the recording - but doesn't give him ownership of the songs in absence of some sort of agreement to that effect.


Indeed it does. He owns the recordings of those songs, so is entitled to fees if they are used.

To get around it, either pay the drummer for the recordings, or simply re-record the songs with a new band.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#9
alright thanks with all the help from everyone. we are in the process of getting these songs copyrighted, and we are looking for a lawyer in which ive briefly told this story too and they assure me we have a better chance with copyright papers and other in fo like that we have earlier versions of the songs through me and my buddies email with dates etc so the fact we were working on them before we met this guy or even started the band is good. plus a main fight for me is for him to prove he can play the songs (which he cant, he cant even play to a click track) i think we got this, im just still pretty pissed. these are songs i worked hard on and this guy thinks he can take that away from me? bs. you have no idea how many people are telling me to let this go cause i can always write more, yeah i can but its the principle of it, i gotta stand up for what i know its right. i know many other would do the same in my shoes. as a musician you could at least have the respect to not steal another musicians work. this guy will get what he deserves and i cant wait to see how this plays out.
#10
Quote by JFACB
alright thanks with all the help from everyone. we are in the process of getting these songs copyrighted, and we are looking for a lawyer in which ive briefly told this story too and they assure me we have a better chance with copyright papers and other in fo like that we have earlier versions of the songs through me and my buddies email with dates etc so the fact we were working on them before we met this guy or even started the band is good. plus a main fight for me is for him to prove he can play the songs (which he cant, he cant even play to a click track) i think we got this, im just still pretty pissed. these are songs i worked hard on and this guy thinks he can take that away from me? bs. you have no idea how many people are telling me to let this go cause i can always write more, yeah i can but its the principle of it, i gotta stand up for what i know its right. i know many other would do the same in my shoes. as a musician you could at least have the respect to not steal another musicians work. this guy will get what he deserves and i cant wait to see how this plays out.


I don't think you understand. From what you've said, I would say you have copyright to the songs, but he owns the recordings. It'll be interesting to see what the lawyer says.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Quote by jazz_rock_feel
In theory yes, once you've written something down you hold the copyright. In practicality the issue is really tricky and I don't fully know a lot about it. I'm not sure how it works in a band situation but I think the original writer would hold copyright.


The author of each piece of the puzzle owns the copyright to that piece. When you combine them, you create a derivative work and you hold the copyright to the derivative work. In order to USE the derivative work, permission is needed from the copyright holder of the derivative work and the copyright holders of all the works from which it is directly or indirectly derived.

Also be aware of work-for-hire situations, in which prior agreements specify that the author is working for someone else, giving the employer the copyrights.

Moral of the story: always have an agreement in place that specifies who has permission to do what with the resulting product.
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