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Do I still own the rights to the song that I wrote by myself?...yes i am asking this question a third time, deal with it.

Denver, CO |
Filed under: Entertainment law

I wrote this song 100% by myself. I wrote the song while a member of 2 bands and my solo project.

The song was intended for my solo project, I tried jamming it with one of my bands. I never told them they could have my song, we just "covered" my own song a few times while practicing. Now I want to keep the song for my solo project.

Apparently people think that because I wrote the song while in a band that my band automatically owns it. What about the fact that I was in 2 bands and I had a solo project?

I respectfully disagree that a band automatically owns anything you play just bc your in a band. Look at how many artists are in multiple bands, when a artist picks up a guitar at 3 am alone at their house do they have to worry about someone owning what they are about to make up? No.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Hi,

I have not read the other comments from previous posts. That said, I would agree with you that if you are the only author yourself and by simply playing your tune with the band it does not become a community copyright.

If, however, you start a song and then bring that to the group for input so now one could say we are all collaborating on it it becomes a collaborative project and thus shared authorship regards to the copyright.

Obvioulsy, one can retain all the copyright interest in their own creative and underlying works. This is why McCartney and Lennon were much more wealthy than the other Beatles.

Further, copyright layers. That is, you may have authorship of the music and lyrics but together we all claim authorship in the arrangement, recording, performances, etc.

I hope that helped to offer some clarity, but again I was not privy to your other posts so if thereare addition facts unknown my take on it may not be helpful.

Best,
Frank
Natoli-Lapin, LLC
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4 comments

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Daniel Nathan Ballard

Posted

The Beatles band partnership agreement that created The Beatles Ltd in 1963 expressly excluded as a partnership asset the copyright in the musical compositions created by the individual members. That contractual relinquishment by Harrison and Starr is why McCarthy and Lennon were entitled to the lion share of the publishing royalties for the songs they wrote. The questioner and his band did not have a partnership agreement. The issue is whether the band owns the copyright in the song he wrote "by operation of law" [17 USC 201 -- which is the mechanism for copyright transfers by bequest, bankruptcy, foreclosure, under community property statutes, corporate mergers, corporate dissolutions, etc. ] or has an implied, nonexclusive right to exploit that copyright. Depends on the facts as noted in my first response.

Frank A. Natoli

Frank A. Natoli

Posted

Yes, Daniel, I am on the same page. Before we get to whether 17 USC 201(c) applies, you have to first be concerned with whether this is in fact a "collective work." An agreement ay get us there of course. Absent that it is a factual analysis. My comment was based solely on the limited info this asker offered and we all recognize that merely having a band perform a one's song does not by itself render it a collective work. Thank you for your thoughful follow up.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

And we have to recognize this Asker is not objective and likely only giving favorable partial facts and there is another side. However, you gave him the answer most favorable to him and thus obviously the "Best" answer in his view [see, he even voted that way]. Now he likely thinks he has all he needs to avoid hiring a lawyer! Perhaps he will call you. That's as it should be. I think I would rather represent the band on this one as if push comes to shove, and the rest of the story gets told, I think the band wins, which makes Daniel and I and SGT. PEPPER the "worst". Guess we're in the LONELY HEARTS CLUB BAND. Where's the love? I mean HEY JUDE, ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE to avoid a HARD DAY'S NIGHT when you are BACK IN THE USSR. .

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

There will be an answer, LET IT BE.

Posted

Since you disagree and don't like the advice you got when you only gave part of the relevant information and since you apparently also are not going to take the advice to hire an attorney, just "deal with it" yourself. Then you will own the advice you give yourself. See how that works for you.

Alternatively, you could hire an attorney and give all these additional facts, and whatever other facts you omitted, to that attorney and get some reliable advice. You are done here, I think. Like this is your 3rd strike. Avvo is for finding a lawyer, not arguing with lawyers or trying to avoid frinding one.

I am not your lawyer and you are not my client. Free advice here is without recourse and any reliance thereupon is at your sole risk. This is done without compensation as a free public service. I am licensed in IL, MO, TX and I am a Reg. Pat. Atty. so advice in any other jurisdiction is strictly general advice and should be confirmed with an attorney licensed in that jurisdiction.

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Asker

Posted

I don't understand why the question is asked a third time? These lawyers have done a great job of answering your questions for free!! Love it! You would pay alot of money for this advice any other time.

Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

That is "you don't know how lucky your are boys". so LET IT BE.

Jon Kenneth Perala

Jon Kenneth Perala

Posted

John owned 50% of "Back In The U.S.S.R." and "Let It Be" even though both were written 100% by Paul. That was their arrangement.

Posted

You have posted this same question two times previously and written many [snarky] comments in response to the answers. You clearly do not like the answers. So either hire your own attorney or do your own research and analysis. In addition to the books that I cited to you previously [which you clearly have not read] you can buy and read the music copyright books linked-to below. Good luck.

The above is general information ONLY and is not legal advice, does not form an attorney-client relationship, and should NOT be relied upon to take or refrain from taking any action. I am not your attorney. You should seek the advice of competent counsel before taking any action related to your inquiry.

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Bruce E. Burdick

Bruce E. Burdick

Posted

That is IMAGINE, if we LET IT BE, there will be an answer 8 DAYS A WEEK.

Jon Kenneth Perala

Jon Kenneth Perala

Posted

NO REPLY

Posted

The multiple questions you have posted state both that you wrote the song "100%" yourself, that you brought the song to the band to perform it (even though you say it was intended for a solo project apart from the band), but that the band broke up before it was "finished." You have presented a messy set of incomplete facts, and appear to recognize that you may have a problem (otherwise, why ask the question in the first place), yet expect a clear answer in your favor.

Based on the limited facts of your question, the consensus appears to be that while you own the copyright to the song (at least in part), it is unclear what interest, if any, is/was owned by the band. This is a very fact-specific inquiry. While you likely have the right to use the song in your solo project, there are potential issues of what ownership or licensing interest, if any, the remainder of the band retains for which you should hire an attorney familiar with copyright and Colorado law to help you deal with it.

This answer is for informational purposes only. It is not intended as specific legal advice regarding your question. The answer could be different if all of the facts were known. This answer does not establish an attorney-client relationship.

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1 comment

Asker

Posted

thank you james.

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