Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video Who is a co-writer?, part of Music Law: Copyrighting a Song.
- If two or more songwriters create a song,…they are initially the co-owners of copyright.…Co-writers sometimes have a difficult time…evaluating their songwriting contributions.…For example, the following scenario is common in a band.…The guitar player creates a song structure,…typically some chord changes.…The singer adds lyrics and a melody.…The bass player comes up with the bass part.…The keyboard player improvises a solo.…All four may believe they are co-writers of the song.…
Historically, the creators of the lead sheet,…the words, melody and harmonic chord structure,…were considered the songwriters.…That's because the words, music and chord changes,…along with the tempo, were traditionally…the only elements necessary for sheet music.…The creation of a solo or a supporting bass…or drum part was usually not considered…an element of songwriting for two reasons.…One, these parts, although they enhance…the recorded performance, are not considered essential…to the structure of the song.…
And two, solos and rhythm parts are usually derived…
Rich starts by defining what a song copyright and a sound recording copyright are—and how they're different. He defines who owns a song, and how to sort out contributions from multiple writers of the same song. Then he explains how to get a copyright using the U.S. Copyright Office's online application process. The course wraps up by discussing possible objections that copyright examiners may have, as well as what to do to maintain your copyright and correct any errors that crop up.
DISCLAIMER: This course is taught by an attorney (or other instructor) and addresses US law concepts that may not apply in all countries. Neither LinkedIn (including Lynda.com) nor the instructor represents you and they are not giving legal advice. The information conveyed through this course is akin to a college or law school course; it is not intended to give legal advice, but instead to communicate information to help viewers understand the basics of the topic presented. The views (and legal interpretations) presented in this course do not necessarily represent the views of LinkedIn or Lynda.com.
- What is a song copyright?
- Who owns a song?
- Evaluating cowriters and their contributions
- Registering a song copyright
- Maintaining a copyright registration