Let's put ourselves in a scenario:

Let's say one of our guitarists bring three riffs to bandpractice, we all sit down and discuss them together and make up other parts for the song. After a while we're done and all of us have had their ideas shared with the rest and together we've come up with a good song.

The drummer made up his parts of the song, came with ideas for fills that changed the structure of the song.

The other guitarist came up with his solo on his own, and he shared the ideas of changing small details of one riff that also changed the song to make it more groovier.

The bassplayer came up with his own basslines which contributed to the song to sound different aswell, and also shared his ideas for the structure of the song.

On the light-hearted discussion after bandpractice, the comment was raised that it was the first song we all worked on together and it was the first song to, hypotechically, could show up as all our names on the songwritingcredits on a album.
To this, the guitarist that broughte the 3 main riffs for the song says that technically he wrote it and it was produced by the rest of us.

So my question is; is this at all correct? I mean, think about it, doesn't the bassplayer have a credit for contributing a bassline? The drummer for his way of restructuring the song? The guitarist nr 2 for his shared ideas and changes of structure? Haven't they all written this song together? Where's the line drawn, so to speak? In lack of comparement, if a bassplayer brings his own bassline that changes the sound of the song to another, is he a writer for the song as well?

Answer me and discuss.
the song should be like this:

"This Song" - guitarist/guitarist/drummer/bassist (not necessarily in that order.
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If you're looking for a 'legal' answer you should look elsewhere.
I think personally that you should have on your album somewhere:

X: Lead guitarist
Y: Rhythm guitarist
Z: Drummer

Then put all members wrote the music for the songs or something then next to each track write: Song X (Written by X and Y) etc.
That would show who wrote the lyrics. Or if its only one person who wrote them just leave that part out.

That's what I would do.
Considering he wrote the riffs and you guys just went though and made a little changes it would be "His name - Writter, Whoeverelsehelpedalittlebitwiththesong - Co-Writer"

*waits for axemanchris to come in and prove me wrong then turn the thread into an incredible thread that helps everyone*
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So I was wondering, are black people capable feeling love? I mean can their brains comprehend that kind of emotion, or are they not programmed that way.
Hehe.... thanks for posting the link, mzhang13. If anyone wants any detailed discussion, that did turn out to be a good thread after a bit of a tenuous start.

Here is the Cole's Notes version:

You know those songs you got? Play back just the vocal. That's right. No drums, no guitar, no bass, no maracas, harmonica, etc. Just the vocal. Wadda ya got left? Lyrics and a melody.

THAT is, for legal purposes, what a song consists of. Lyrics and melody. Because, really, if you take away the lyrics and the melody, you have nothing. Oh, sure, we can get all touchy about our guitar riffs being a significant expression of our creative soul (haha), but without the lyrics and melody, you have nothing but an *accompaniment* for a song. It could be bloody anything. Twist and Shout? La Bamba? Same song? Pretty much until you add in the vocal part. There are LOADS of other examples.

Example 1. The Beatles. They had TONS of songs that were credited as Lennon/McCartney. It would be foolish to think that George Harrison (an accomplished songwriter himself) or even Ringo had no hand in bringing the song as we know it to life. Sure, they contributed guitar parts and drum beats and stuff, but guess what.... doesn't count.

Example 2. Helix. (I pick them because I am very familiar with them.... classic '80's pop/metal band.... gimme an R....) For a couple of albums, they had listed on their artwork, "All songs written by Helix." Okay fine. The idea, I would suggest, was to present the band as a unified creative front. And, the way most bands work, that is probably fair to suggest this to be the case. Underneath, though, the reality is such that the songs were ultimately 90% written by the same two or three guys who wrote all the songs on every album before and every album after. In short, you can assign writing credit to whomever you please... as long as you're willing to stick by that forever and ever and ever amen. (and of course, that means sharing all publishing royalties, etc. with them too....)

Example 3. Unnamed group to protect their identity. I know a guy in a band whose second major label album went triple-platinum here in Canada and gold in the USA. The song that did it for them had a chorus written by an outside writer. This writer submitted this chorus to the record company, and the record company thought it would be a great piece to work from for this band. The singer, who is also one of the principle songwriters for the band, wrote the rest of the song - all three verses, the prechorus, and tweaked the chorus. Technically it should have been credited as "song" (band guy/outside writer guy). Ah, but no.

Here's where it gets f**ed up. The outside writer insisted on, as a condition for the record company (Capitol records) using the song that he be given full writing credit. He had a track record, writing hits for other artists like Kiss, Cher, Judas Priest, such that the record company didn't want to lose him. Now, Capitol records, in return, insisted that the band release the song as part of their album, and as the lead-off single. The long and the short of it is that it was a series of negotiated agreements and business leveraging that resulted in the band guy getting not a lick of credit for it - even though he wrote about 75% of the song.

Of course, they could have sought legal advice and went after it tooth and nail, but the end result would surely have been that Capitol would rather please their 'star writer' so in return, would probably bury the band's album before it got released. With no label support, the album would have died a quiet death, and the band would be dropped in a few weeks as a result of 'disappointing sales figures.' Having to chose between what is right and what is best can be a real bugger.

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.