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Need to release rights of tune to a friend

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Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Nov 20, 2012 3:38 am

My friend came over and had a melody and song in her head. I helped her write out the chords and melody so she could communicate it to some professional musicians.

The song has gone bigger than expected and now her recording musician is claiming it.

We have the original manuscript of chords/melody/harmony/lyrics, I want to release all rights of the song to my friend. Not the performance but the song itself. It really is hers.

I just want to help her claim it so she can do another session with some bigger aspirations.

Any advice on what I need to tell her reps to give her full rights?

We are in the US.
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Re: Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby Scramble » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:12 am

>I want to release all rights of the song to my friend.

Are you saying that you wrote some of the song as well, and you want to let her do what she wants with it? Or are you saying that you wrote none of it? If the latter, then what happens to the song isn't anything to do with you, although you could help her prove that the song is all hers if needed.
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Re: Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby Goddard » Tue Nov 20, 2012 10:57 am

Assuming you merely transcribed and did not actually join in composing the song, then your friend is the sole composer ("author") and should register a copyright for her authored musical composition with the Copyright Office (file a Form PA with required fee and deposit, or can be done online at http://www.copyright.gov/eco/).
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Re: Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby GlynB » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:03 am

If i understand your story correctly, IMO there is nothing you can do to stop the 'other' musician from claiming some credit for the song. Whether he's successful will depend on his power to insist on having a credit, or not.

Is he a big shot, or just some session musician she's worked with who thinks his input was greater than it really is?

Maybe he does deserve a credit, if he further developed the idea and made it much better?
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Re: Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby Exalted Wombat » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:51 am

She came to you with an idea. She left with it written down. If you don't want to claim any credit - then just don't!

She then took it to another musician, and left with a recording. It's down to him and her to argue over whether they're co-writers or not. You're not involved.
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You don't have to write songs. The world doesn't want you to write songs. It would probably prefer it if you didn't. So write songs if you want to. Otherwise, dont. Go fishing instead.


Re: Need to release rights of tune to a friend

Postby DC-Choppah » Tue Nov 20, 2012 11:55 pm

I guess I didn't describe enough of the details.

I am saying that I wrote the song together with my friend and that the recording musician had no part of the composition, just the performance. My friend wrote the melody in her head and the lyrics. I wrote the chords, and wrote down the lead sheet of the tune and gave her a piano recording of the tune. We worked on the tune together as a tried different things, feels, harmonies etc. until she liked it, so it was collaborative. My friend's rep wants me to describe how we wrote the tune together so that the recording musician can't claim it. So I am asking you guys what I should give them to show that we really wrote the song together.

The recording performer is an independent artist with substantial following in one major city and wants to keep the rights of the song in case there is a movie soundtrack.

And I want to release the rights of the song to my friend to help her get the movie deal since the studio wants to have the rights to the song too.

So we are trying to not let the recording musician scuttle the movie deal by trying to hold on to the rights to the theme song that we wrote.

If there is a soundtrack I will help my friend with more songs, and this time we will plan for success and have a songwriting agreement in place.
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