#1
My band is about to enter the studio and our guitar player just quit. I'm wondering what the legal implications of this are. He helped contribute to the song writing process but didn't ever come in with a full song idea. The songs took form through a process of discussion and collaboration and refinement with no one member being the leader. We've done no professional recordings with him before. He's make noise about us not using his "progressions" and "riffs", so, we've brought in a new guitar player to fill out the parts so we won't be trying to replicate his parts entirely. Is he entitled to anything that comes out of the band from here on out with these recordings, or, are we free to move on without him as if he was never in the band?

thanks! let me know if you need anymore info
#2
Well, musicians can't copyright "progressions." If that was the case, every I-IV-V blues song or I-V-vi-IV pop song (C, G, Am, F in the key of C) would be in a lot of legal trouble. Even a simple riff may not be able to be copyrighted; the verse riff in Last Child by Aerosmith (actually just got donw listening to it) is a very typical blues riff on an E5 chord that a lot of people do variations on.

When it comes to copyrighting a song, the main components that matter to the song are the Lyrics and Melody. So, if he didn't write either of those aspects to the songs, then it wouldn't be "his song." Now, the parts that he wrote to compliment those would be his, but not the "legal" portion of the song.

Now, most bands that write songs usually give credit to individual writers (later Beatles), as a songwriting duo (Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards), or the entire band as a whole.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#3
Quote by aerosmithfan95
Well, musicians can't copyright "progressions." If that was the case, every I-IV-V blues song or I-V-vi-IV pop song (C, G, Am, F in the key of C) would be in a lot of legal trouble. Even a simple riff may not be able to be copyrighted; the verse riff in Last Child by Aerosmith (actually just got donw listening to it) is a very typical blues riff on an E5 chord that a lot of people do variations on.

When it comes to copyrighting a song, the main components that matter to the song are the Lyrics and Melody. So, if he didn't write either of those aspects to the songs, then it wouldn't be "his song." Now, the parts that he wrote to compliment those would be his, but not the "legal" portion of the song.

Now, most bands that write songs usually give credit to individual writers (later Beatles), as a songwriting duo (Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards), or the entire band as a whole.


That's what I figured. So, basically we owe him nothing? To reiterate, he won't be participating in the actual recordings of the songs and we've already started working with a new guitarist who will be playing the parts and is taking them in his own direction.
#4
Well, even then, the new guitarist will do his own take on the song, anyways.
Skip the username, call me Billy
#5
Billy is correct. The only thing that matters is the actual melody of the song and the lyrics. You can't copyright riffs and chord progressions. If it even comes to that you can list him as a writer on the copyright form but not include him in the part of the form that assigns ownership.

"Generally, songs contain lyrics, melody, harmony, and rhythm. Federal statutes most often
afford protection to the two most widely identified of these components: melody and lyrics.
Copyright attorneys say that there are good reasons for this. Melody and lyrics are the only parts of a song that survive over time, remaining consistent through a variety of performances and recordings in many different styles and genres. Also, those two parts constitute a completely performable unit by a single individual. That is, one person can sing the words and melody with no accompaniment. (Or, in the case of an instrumental version, one person can play the song on a solo melodic instrument.)"

From:http://www.dicciani.com/materials/Copyright_q_and_a.pdf
Yes I am guitarded also, nice to meet you.
#6
The above is correct. If his contributions were just riffs and chord progressions, it's unlikely that he has any copyright entitlements to the songs. I'd give him a nod anyway in the linear notes.
And no, Guitar Hero will not help. Even on expert. Really.
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