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So I was hired by a band to be their front man. They write songs I sing them. Everything is working out great but I just wanted to understand some things moving forward.

Each song writer copyrights the song they bring to the band in their name after it is recorded. As a performer on this song what would be my rights to getting money from it if it were sold to someone for commercial use? Is it up to the owner of the copyright?

Thanks in advance. Just trying to understand how it all works.


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You would have no rights to the copyright or ownership of the song.


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If your recording was used you would have some claim, but if whoever used it made their own recording with a different singer, then only the songwriter has any claim on the song.

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Cool thanks. I'm not really taking pay as it is considered a band but I notice that the song writers get the copyright so I was wondering what would happen if anyone ever started to care about the music we're making. So in thinking about my position in the band that means I'm banking on my version being the one to be used everywhere. Otherwise I get nothing for my effort at this point.

I really hate to think of it that way actually...


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Hi Scotty,
The writer of the song has the rights. The fact that you sang the song gives you no rights to the song. You are in easy terms a "studio musician". Studio musicians are paid whatever is negotiated at the time for their work in the studio. After that they're done, due nothing, it's over. It gets more complicated because you have publishing & writer royalties. Too much to write here. Do a search on the web for music publishing or music copyrighting and you'll find plenty of info. Here's one link: http://www.legaljungleguide.com/resourc/musician/articles/songwriting.htm
Good luck with the band,
Den
oh... and one more thing - Start Writing!

Last edited by drsongs; 03/29/07 02:27 PM.

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