Who owns this recording?

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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mars
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Who owns this recording?

Post by mars » Tue Jan 15, 2013 4:36 pm

Hi guys. I wonder if you could help me with a little copyright advice.

I put on a gig last year that I invited a friend to record with a view to releasing the recording as a promotional CD for the series of gigs we are running. My friend agreed to record the gig and I agreed that he could advertise at the gig as payment. I cleared it with all the bands who were playing and have got there blessing to do whatever we want with the recording.

Unfortunately my friend and I disagree who owns the recordings. As far as I am concerned, I paid for the recordings by allowing him to advertise so under UK law I own the recording but he disagrees and thinks that he owns the recordings. Obviously we are still friends at the end of the day but I'd like to get my facts straight before I push the issue.

Any advice would be appreciated.

Cheer.

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AndyJ
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Post by AndyJ » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:21 pm

Hi Mars,
Section 9 (2)(aa) of the Copyright Designs and Patents Act 1988 says:
9 Authorship of work.

(1) In this Part “author”, in relation to a work, means the person who creates it.
(2) That person shall be taken to be—
(aa) in the case of a sound recording, the producer; ...
Section 178 then goes on to define producer as follows:
“producer”, in relation to a sound recording or a film, means the person by whom the arrangements necessary for the making of the sound recording or film are undertaken;
So according to that definition I think you can be said to be the producer and thus the owner of the copyright. It doesn't really matter if your friend was paid in money or in kind, or indeed at all.
If he had approached you and asked if he could make the recording and he had contacted all the bands to get their permission etc, then he would most likely have been the producer.
I hope this helps to settle the argument. Next time it might be a good idea to put these things on paper beforehand so there is no doubt.
Advice or comment provided here is not and does not purport to be legal advice as defined by s.12 of Legal Services Act 2007

mars
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Post by mars » Wed Jan 16, 2013 2:41 pm

Hi Andy, thanks for the reply, it will certainly help to be able to pinpoint the relevant parts of the Copyright Act. It always feels a bit weird asking friends to sign contracts but it really would have saved a lot of issues!

Thanks again :)

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