Song / Recording Copyright Issues

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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mutagen
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Song / Recording Copyright Issues

Post by mutagen » Sun Jan 11, 2009 11:26 pm

A buddy of mine, lets call him Bob, starts up a rock band with some friends and starts working on some songs. Jeff joins the band to sing and play some guitar. Bob has some pre-written songs that they work on, Jeff also has some pre-written songs.

They record some of their songs for a demo.

Personality conflicts erupt and Jeff leaves the band. There are no formal legalities taken care of, just recognition that Jeff brought some songs to the band that won't be used / performed anymore.

Bob later gets an opportunity to submit a song to be used in a video game and has a significant chance to have his song accepted and used. Bob submits one of the songs he wrote with Jeff singing as it is the only decent recording of his song that they have.

What are the copyright issues involved here under USA copyright laws? ? Bob has a copyright on the song but what are Jeff's rights to the recording? Nobody in the band wants to deal with Jeff again, some are inclined to ignore him but Bob realizes there are issues involved that can't be ignored if they wish to submit this recording.

Obviously all this should have been arranged in advance. Are there resources available so musicians can easily take care of these sorts of legalities before things get complicated or acrimonious? Boilerplate agreements to assign rights?

mutagen
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Post by mutagen » Mon Jan 12, 2009 8:40 am

On further reading of this forum I found a post by Warlock that clarifies the situation. It strongly suggests everyone who participated in the recording is a co-owner unless other arrangements are made.

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