#1
Didn't know where else to put this!

Right so the singer in my band left, before he did we recorded an EP. today he told me that he has copyrighted the songs and that we can no longer use them. the only input he had on the songs on the EP are about 75% of the lyrics.
So yeah my question is.....can he do that?
#2
Did he actually get the copy right to the songs? Can he prove it? If so, then yes he can do that.
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#3
Quote by MattyBoy 1337
Did he actually get the copy right to the songs? Can he prove it? If so, then yes he can do that.


Apparently. How would he have gone about doing so though?
#4
Are you in Ireland? If so:

1. Copyright arose over the songs automatically when the songs were recorded. Who was credited with the songs on the EP?

2. There is no official way to register copyright in Ireland (after a quick google check).

3. If someone holds copyright over a song, this does not stop you from playing it. If this was the case nobody would be in cover bands.

4. The singer may have a claim to your excessive royalties if he can prove that he wrote the entirety of the song.

Basically I wouldn't worry about it.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#6
There are a few kinds of Copyright, the rights for the song you put down, and the rights of the recording. If he sang for performers. If he did the vocals for the recording and there are 5 members in your band. Then he is entitled to about 8% of the recording. This can vary, but mostly tell him to get f**ked.
Edit: If he did 75% of the lyrics then you'll need to negotiate, as now he has a bigger cut.
Last edited by GoldenGuitar at Aug 27, 2013,
#7
Quote by gurg06
Didn't know where else to put this!

Right so the singer in my band left, before he did we recorded an EP. today he told me that he has copyrighted the songs and that we can no longer use them. the only input he had on the songs on the EP are about 75% of the lyrics.
So yeah my question is.....can he do that?


I the US, he can't honestly claim copyright on something that he doesn't own. Registering doesn't actually create copyright. Here, copyright exists the moment something is recorded in fixed form - eg, your recording.

However, you also can't just change the lyrics and be fine, because in the US if lyrics and melody have been written together, they can not then later be legally separated without an agreement. So you can't just change the lyrics - but he does own a piece of the songs. You could only change this with his consent - a legal agreement where you gave him back the lyrics free and clear an he gave you back the music free and clear - but of course this goes both ways. You own a piece of his lyrics, too.

But - copyright doesn't allow him to stop you from paying them. He's just entitled to a share of the royalties.

Sorry that you find yourself dealing with such a jerk.

Also, if he registered something as entirely his which wasn't, in fact, entirely his ...

... he just committed a crime.
Last edited by HotspurJr at Aug 27, 2013,
#8
The real question is whether he can afford to litigate.

I imagine you could also argue that the band's creative output is belongs to the band, not individual members.
#9
As a lawyer, I won't give you legal advice, I'll give you practical advice.

Remove the lyrics he wrote and replace them with something else. Problem completely solved. Not worth the hassle to deal with a diva who doesn't know what he's talking about, just record new lyrics and ignore him.
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221
#10
^^^ What area of law do you practice in? I'm not in IP myself but I'd probably advise to ignore him at this point. I'm going to guess that the cost of hiring a lawyer, or even the filing fees for a case to seek any prospective royalties will cost far more than the royalties involved here.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#11
Thanks for all the information everyone! helps to have somewhat of an understanding of this kinda thing! And yeah the guy turned out to be a massive a**hole and a bit of a psycho! He went as far to say that he knew where i lived and would get people to break into my house and steal my guitars while I'm sleeping!
#12
^^^ Strange behaviour from someone who quit the band. If it gets more serious I'm sure you know what to do.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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#13
Quote by AlanHB
^^^ What area of law do you practice in? I'm not in IP myself but I'd probably advise to ignore him at this point. I'm going to guess that the cost of hiring a lawyer, or even the filing fees for a case to seek any prospective royalties will cost far more than the royalties involved here.
Everything, but doing a Masters in Intellectual Property and Technology Law, coincidentally. This guy's just a complete arsehole and wouldn't even be able to bring any action most likely; a practical solution is better than a legal one.

Quote by gurg06
Thanks for all the information everyone! helps to have somewhat of an understanding of this kinda thing! And yeah the guy turned out to be a massive a**hole and a bit of a psycho! He went as far to say that he knew where i lived and would get people to break into my house and steal my guitars while I'm sleeping!
Inform the police. 'Bit of a psycho' does not even describe what he's suggesting.
Ibanez RG2228 w/ EMG808Xs | Line 6 POD HD500 | Mackie HD1221