I was given a beat by a producer who said I can do as I feel with it, I then sold the beat because I no longer wanted to use it. But now the producer is suing me for copyright infringement.
Obviously, if you are being sued (are you really being sued here or just threatened with it?) you need more than a simple website to help you.
That said, he's not wrong. Using the content that was given to you for all its intended purposes comports with the implied license you received by default because there was no written agreement involved. But selling the work to another is not likely going to be considered an "intended purpose." It was yours to use and work with, not to sell. Or at least that will be his legal argument and it's one grounded in rational legal theory.
Before you take any further action, I suggest that you consult with a lawyer in private and discuss your case and best course in more detail. You can start by calling around to several for a free phone consultation, get some insights then pick the best fit to work with.
DISCLAIMER: this is not intended to be specific legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. No attorney-client relationship is formed with the law firm of Natoli-Legal, LLC on the basis of this posting.
The relevant law declares: "A transfer of copyright ownership, other than by operation of law, is not valid unless an instrument of conveyance, or a note or memorandum of the transfer, is in writing and signed by the owner of the rights conveyed or such owner’s duly authorized agent." 17 U.S.C. §204(a).
In short, if a beat is copyrightable -- some are not because they're insufficiently creative or infringe the copyright in a substantially similar beat -- then that copyright cannot be transferred to anyone else unless the copyright owner (usually but not always the author) signs a writing that conveys the copyright. Merely "given a beat by a producer who said [you] can do as [you] feel with it" does not transfer the beat's copyright (if any) to you. At best, that conduct conveys to you a license to use the beat as you two discussed.
As noted, if the "producer" has filed or is threatening to file a copyright infringement lawsuit or a copyright ownership lawsuit against you then you need to speak with your own Florida-licensed intellectual property attorney in private. Do not discuss this matter any further in public. Good luck.
The above response 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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