#1
I am currently working on a song for a singer. I'm writing the drums, bass, and guitar tracks, and the other person is doing the lyrics and voice.

There is no contract between us. So...

Will she be able to perform the song and not have to pay me anything?
Should there be a contract?

What can i do to not get screwed?
Last edited by Deadds at Oct 15, 2011,
#3
Write a contract, then write the music. Otherwise, she doesn't have to do shit.
NOW PART OF THE

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#4
Quote by supersac
so what was the agreement between you two?


That she would create the vocal melody and that she would sing over my song.

And we're recording in a few days.

I found this Songwriters Collaboration Contract

I'm confused on what would she be labeled as in the contract

Songwriter(s) - the author(s) of the song.

Original Songwriters - songwriters listed above who originated the song. An original songwriter can not be added to this contract unless all original songwriters agree and enter into a new contract.

Recording Songwriter(s) - a songwriter who signs a "Recording Songwriter Contract" with an original songwriter and is the singer/performer who records the song that generates revenue.

Contributing Songwriter(s) - any songwriter who has signed a "Contributing Songwriter Contract" with an original songwriter.

Share - percentage of moneys retained from the revenue of a song.

Recording Songwriter Contract (see page 3) - a contract between an original songwriter and another songwriter who is the artist who records the song that is distributed to the public and generates income.

Contributing Songwriter Contract (see page 3) - a contract between an original songwriter and another songwriter who contributes to the song.


Would the vocalist be a "contributing songwriter"? Or is she an original songwriter because she wrote the vocal melody?
#6
Quote by kraftmacaroni
I think you would both have equal rights to the song.


Only if there's a contract and only if the contract specifies equal rights.
#7
Write it, record it, copyright it and claim you wrote it all. Then give her permission to do what ever and if she does other things sue her ass...

That's the slimy way its done, and what would probably happen if one of you was on a major record label and the other wasn't.
#8
As a general, I'm no expect in intellectual property laws. But top line and harmonic movement is the important stuff. Drums and bass often are supporting these things. As a result if she wrote the melody, she has half own-ship over the song. (I'd double check this)

I'd go in like this unless you general believe she going to **** you over or that the tune is going be massive. But assuming you both have a good relationship you could just write more tunes together.

Things start to get real messy when you start look when she has to pay you as a result of performing the song. If she not making money out of the gig you kind of look like a money grabbing tool. It depends on the situation but if she's a low level singer and you think the song is a hot and she has potential, you'd be better off taking less up front (make sure your credited) and she blows up. You can be like "I wrote this song for blah blah...I can write you a tune) Cue larger percentage because you have leverage based on previous success.

It's up to you. But I'd talk about before it starts. that way neither party can back out.


Good luck, I'd love to hear it
Last edited by Wild Hopkins at Oct 16, 2011,
#9
Quote by sandyman323
Only if there's a contract and only if the contract specifies equal rights.

Well if there's no contract then would anyone own it?
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#10
Quote by Deadds
I am currently working on a song for a singer. I'm writing the drums, bass, and guitar tracks, and the other person is doing the lyrics and voice.

In the eyes of the law, it's her song.

Unfortunately it's only the lyrics (and substantial or key portions of the melody) that are copyrightable. If she writes the vocal melody and lyrics, then what you're doing is considered arrangement, which unfortunately is considered a 'derivative work' under most copyright law.


The normal option here is you'd be paid a one-off session fee for your arrangement/performance. However, it sounds to me as though this singer may be a friend of yours, or at least you have a casual arrangement, so this might seem a little callous.
Alternatively you could draw up a basic little contract and politely explain to her that you're quite proud of the song, and that you mean her no offense by wanting to ensure you get joint recognition.


Your best option would be to get involved with the songwriting - there's no reason you couldn't come up with some nice vocal melodies and maybe work with her on the lyrics a little.
Even if you end up only changing one or two words, you can claim writing credit - I'm sure she wouldn't object to that if you've already put together the entire song! That seems the easiest and most effective solution to me.
#11
Alright. i know what to do now. I'll work on her lyrics and melodies and have us both be "Original Songwriters" with a 50/50 share.
#12
Quote by Deadds
I am currently working on a song for a singer. I'm writing the drums, bass, and guitar tracks, and the other person is doing the lyrics and voice.

There is no contract between us. So...

Will she be able to perform the song and not have to pay me anything?
Should there be a contract?

What can i do to not get screwed?


Yeah, unless you agree otherwise, what would happen is this:

SHE would own the song outright, as the person who wrote the melody and lyrics.

SHE would be able to do whatever she wanted with the song and not give you a damn thing.

YOU would need HER permission (and/or pay her royalties) in order to make recordings of the song, but playing it live would not be a problem.

CT
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