#1
I'm looking for someone who knows about the legal side to recording...

Anyways, the bassist and vocalist of my band recently quit, leaving just the drummer and myself. We decided to keep the band going and replace them, which we have since done. With the old vocalist and bassist, we recorded an EP with 5 songs on it. Who has the rights to these recordings? I've heard that once you make a recording there is an automatic copyright - does that go to the band?

I'm trying to get as many opinions about this as possible... Thank you
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#2
i'd think it goes to whoever kept the band, and not to the ones who moved on, but im not good with legal stuff
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#3
take a copy of those songs and the lyrics, mail them to yourself and do not open them. They are now post marked sealed by the federal government and they will hold up in court. The poor man's copyright
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#4
ask Axl Rose.
as much of a Jackass as i think he is, i believe he still has the rights to the old GNR songs, because he's still in GNR. (though it's just not GNR without Slash, Duff, Izzy, and Steven/Matt)
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#5
wrong, they all own the rights to gnr songs. if all of you admit to writing the song together, you all have the rights to it.
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#6
I believe you and the drummer own them because your made them under the band name and your still keeping this band going. I would also do that One thing with the mailing it to your self and such. Sounds like a good idea.
#9
Quote by bizkitday4eva
take a copy of those songs and the lyrics, mail them to yourself and do not open them. They are now post marked sealed by the federal government and they will hold up in court. The poor man's copyright


Thanks for the tip. I'll remember that in future
#10
Unless they are copyrighted, no one owns them officialy, but if it went to court and someone could prove somehow that they wrote the song, they could gain ownership.
The idea about posting it to yourself kinda works but it won't always stand up in court, Mail can be tampered with, envelopes can be steamed upen and re-stuck ect.
Much better is to have a solicitor hold on to it for you, that way you have a legal corroboration of when you placed the items with him. This should include a written statement of who wrote the songs, the lyrics, sheet music and a recording if at all possible.
But if someone wishes to contest it in court and can produce reliable witnesses that they wrote the material or part of it, you may have problems.
If f'rinstance they can produce an audience of people who all saw them play the song in the band before they quit, that would show that the song was at least in existance previous to the copyright date. This could go a long way to showing reasonable doubt that the copyright is genuine. If they can then produce reliable witnesses that were present when the songs were concieved, especialy if the songs were written collectively, with each member of the band adding their own bits, then they could at least claim 'part' copyright to the material.
It's a sketchy field of law, but this is plausably possible.
Much better, and legaly safer, to simply drop the material and start again, copyrighting any new material as you go.
#11
There's a big difference between ownership of the songs and ownership of the sound recordings. Whoever wrote the songs, owns the songs. But ownership of the recordings is much more legally complicated because (presumably) you won't have signed a contract saying who owns these. The best thing to do would just be to ask the guys who've left if they mind you to continue using the demos until you get a chance to record again.
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#12
You guys are 16/17... you really think these kids are going to take legal action against you over a couple of songs you guys recorded?
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#14
Have you asked them if you can use the songs?
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#15
I think if no one has bought the copyright, it goes to whoever paid for the recording.
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#17
Yeah, two things at work here.

1. Ownership of the songs... If the songs were written as a band, (point of clarification - a song is typically legally defined as melody and lyrics, usually NOT including drum beats, riffs, chord progressions, etc.) then even if someone leaves the band, they still own the songs. It is assumed that each member contributed equally unless otherwise stated in a prior written agreement. Did you state anywhere that "all songs written by Band X" or something to that effect? If so, then you have attributed writing credit to each member equally unless otherwise stated - even if, in reality, all they did was provide a riff or a drum beat.

2. Ownership of the recordings.... Whoever paid for the recordings owns them unless a written agreement stating otherwise can be proven. If you made the recordings yourself with your own gear, then you own them.

Not to confuse the two... Let's say I bought the original master recording to the Beatles White Album. I now own the recording. That still doesn't entitle me to use the songs however I wish, because I don't own the songs themselves. To own the songs, I would have to purchase the rights to them specifically.

Keep in mind, too, that I am not a lawyer, and that laws vary from country to country.

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Last edited by axemanchris at Mar 30, 2008,
#18
Its who wrote the song that has the writes...so if you all wrote it together you guys have rights but if either the bassist or vocalist wrote it, they have it.

BTW why would you want to keep songs that doesnt even have your own vocalist on it haha?
#19
Quote by Radio Addict

BTW why would you want to keep songs that doesnt even have your own vocalist on it haha?


Let's say they have a song that goes #1 at some point.... say.... five years. They'll want the rights (and subsequent royalties, etc.) that go with the song. It doesn't matter WHO is on the recording at the moment, nor any time in the future. If you own the song, you own the song.

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.