Join Richard Stim for an in-depth discussion in this video The co-writer agreement, part of Music Law: Copyrighting a Song.
- Co-writers of a song are initially the…co-owners of copyright.…Each co-owner has a percentage interest in the copyright…and the total percentage of a song equals 100 percent.…The default position of the copyright office…is that two co-writers share in ownership equally.…That is, the law presumes it is 50-50,…but co-writers can share in any percentage that they wish,…provided they agree upon the amounts.…By the way, a co-owner shares in revenue…from the entire work, not just from a specific contribution.…
In other words, even if a co-writer only wrote the music,…she would share in the revenue if someone licensed…the lyrics for reproduction in a book.…Alternatively, if only the music is used,…the lyric writer would share in the income.…A co-writer can sell his or her share,…but can't sell the entire copyright.…A co-writer can enter into non-exclusive deals for the song,…provided that all co-writers are fairly compensated.…What if the song owners want to make their own rules?…For example, the song writers want to allocate…
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 registration 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