The Acoustic Guitar Forum

Go Back   The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Reply
 
Thread Tools
  #1  
Old 08-02-2019, 06:46 AM
Mr Bojangles Mr Bojangles is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 744
Default Song Rights?

I plan to record some original songs at a recording studio. How does this affect my rights to the material if the studio were to keep a copy of the recording? What if it were played on a local radio station? My songs are registered with the copyright office in Washington. So far, I'm the only one who has a recording. It was done at my home studio, and is not of professional quality.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:18 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: On the Mass/NH border
Posts: 5,859
Default

The studio has no rights to YOUR song. Why would they distribute to a radio station? That's not their job.
If you want to collect royalties on your songs (when one is played on the radio or performed live) you need to have them registered with a PRO (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), and if you want streaming royalties, you would need to online distribute with a place that collects them (such as CDBaby).
__________________
Mike

My music: https://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

2017 Taylor 114ce-N
2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

Kala baritone ukulele
Seagull 'Merlin'
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e ukulele
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:35 AM
Silly Moustache Silly Moustache is online now
Charter Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: UK/EU
Posts: 14,841
Default

Way back in the '60s, the man with the big cigar app[roached us and offered us a recording session in IBC Studios in London (we followed Shirley Bassey and a full orchestra!)

We recorded four songs, and got white labels, as someone peddled us to various record labels.

While we were waiting, one of our songs, presumably our recording was being played on one of the pirate radio stations of the day, either Caroline or London, don't know.

We never got any royalties and didn't get a deal in the end, can't remember why, but one of our originals was called "Girl" and it was squashed because the Beatles had a song by the same name in '65.

just sayin'
__________________
Silly Moustache,
Elderly singer, guitarist, dobrolist and mandolinist.

https://www.youtube.com/user/SillyMoustache/videos
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 08-02-2019, 07:42 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: On the Mass/NH border
Posts: 5,859
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Silly Moustache View Post
Way back in the '60s, the man with the big cigar app[roached us and offered us a recording session in IBC Studios in London (we followed Shirley Bassey and a full orchestra!)

We recorded four songs, and got white labels, as someone peddled us to various record labels.

While we were waiting, one of our songs, presumably our recording was being played on one of the pirate radio stations of the day, either Caroline or London, don't know.

We never got any royalties and didn't get a deal in the end, can't remember why, but one of our originals was called "Girl" and it was squashed because the Beatles had a song by the same name in '65.

just sayin'
Things were a lot different 50+ years ago!
__________________
Mike

My music: https://mikebirchmusic.bandcamp.com

2017 Taylor 114ce-N
2012 Taylor 310ce
2011 Fender CD140SCE
Ibanez 12 string a/e
73 Epiphone 6830E 6 string (made in 71?)

72 Fender Telecaster
Epiphone Dot Studio
Epiphone LP Jr
Chinese Strat clone ($25!)

Kala baritone ukulele
Seagull 'Merlin'
Washburn Mandolin
Luna 'tatoo' a/e ukulele
antique banjolin
Squire J bass
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 08-02-2019, 08:05 AM
Mr Bojangles Mr Bojangles is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 744
Default

Thanks for the replies. My originals are registered with BMI and with the copyright office. A local radio station wants to air a couple of my song recordings. I'm just wondering if I submit them to the radio station for public airing if I lose control of who can perform my material. Does this constitute publishing?
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 08-02-2019, 09:47 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 187
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
Thanks for the replies. My originals are registered with BMI and with the copyright office. A local radio station wants to air a couple of my song recordings. I'm just wondering if I submit them to the radio station for public airing if I lose control of who can perform my material. Does this constitute publishing?
IANAL, but my understanding is that, in short, if you have a copyright for the work already, you are protected against someone using what you've written. If you want to get paid whenever your recording is played, you should register it as well with a separate copyright (SR) for the performance, i.e., vs the one you have already obtained (presumably PA) for the original work(s).

If you want to establish rights via registration, you can submit the recordings themselves as soon as they are finalized. You can then let a radio station play them (before the months of waiting for copyright.gov) and know you're covered in the [admittedly unlikely] event you have to make a claim if someone grabs it and uses a sample, whatever.

Note that the PA application process itself changed back in March, so you cannot submit anything previously "published" (definition of that still murky in this century). You'll have to use SR for the recordings.
__________________
"I know in the morning that it's gonna be good, when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen
Home Recordings on SoundCloud - Home Recordings on YouTube
Martin GPCPA3, "homemade" (1980) hog-D
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:14 AM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 11,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
Thanks for the replies. My originals are registered with BMI and with the copyright office. A local radio station wants to air a couple of my song recordings. I'm just wondering if I submit them to the radio station for public airing if I lose control of who can perform my material. Does this constitute publishing?
Yes any time you make your song available (facilitate distribution) for public consumption (Radio, Youtube, SoundCloud , CDs , or digital files to digital airplay or download entities -Itunes, Spotify etc. ) that is considered publishing in the general sense .

If I understand you correctly then yes you lose control of "Who can perform your material " But in reality this does not matter does it ? I mean unless you never play your songs in public, and never publish them , you don't have control over who hears them and might perform/cover them anyway ? Nobody does .
I guess I am not understanding why it would matter ? Or conversely what do you perceive you might gain by controlling who performs your songs ?
To clarify what copyrights do is offer legal recourse for "infringement" and define royalty compensation for legal use by others.
But other than someone trying to publish a "derivative work" of your work (over which you have permissive control) copyright does grant control over who can or can't legally cover your material
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud

Last edited by KevWind; 08-02-2019 at 11:37 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 08-02-2019, 11:54 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 187
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
Thanks for the replies. My originals are registered with BMI and with the copyright office. A local radio station wants to air a couple of my song recordings. I'm just wondering if I submit them to the radio station for public airing if I lose control of who can perform my material. Does this constitute publishing?
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Yes any time you make your song available (facilitate distribution) for public consumption (Radio, Youtube, SoundCloud , CDs , or digital files to digital airplay or download entities -Itunes, Spotify etc. ) that is considered publishing in the general sense .

If I understand you correctly then yes you lose control of "Who can perform your material " But in reality this does not matter does it ? I mean unless you never play your songs in public, and never publish them , you don't have control over who hears them and might perform/cover them anyway ? Nobody does .
I guess I am not understanding why it would matter ? Or conversely what do you perceive you might gain by controlling who performs your songs ?
To clarify what copyrights do is offer legal recourse for "infringement" and define royalty compensation for legal use by others.
But other than someone trying to publish a "derivative work" of your work (over which you have permissive control) copyright does grant control over who can or can't legally cover your material
It's not copyright itself, which occurs as soon as you write it down or record it, presumably, but the registration that provides legal recourse.

So, if the work is copyrighted, you do not "lose control" but if you have not registered it, you will have a very hard time making an infringement claim (though you might find a lawyer willing to take a lot of your money for one).

https://www.copyright.gov/help/faq-definitions.html

https://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ01.pdf
__________________
"I know in the morning that it's gonna be good, when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen
Home Recordings on SoundCloud - Home Recordings on YouTube
Martin GPCPA3, "homemade" (1980) hog-D
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 08-03-2019, 02:58 PM
Mr Bojangles Mr Bojangles is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 744
Default

I do play my songs in public, and they are registered. My concern was in having them played on the radio. My understanding is that radio play constitutes "publishing". Once something is published, does that mean the song is fair game for anyone to perform? If so, I assume the fact that the songs are registered with BMI and the copyright office allows me royalties. I really don't understand the possible pitfalls of having my originals published. If not published, my understanding is that someone would need my permission to perform or record them. I'm just trying to control what happens to my original material.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 08-03-2019, 03:56 PM
frankmcr frankmcr is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
Posts: 2,133
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
I do play my songs in public, and they are registered. My concern was in having them played on the radio. My understanding is that radio play constitutes "publishing". Once something is published, does that mean the song is fair game for anyone to perform? If so, I assume the fact that the songs are registered with BMI and the copyright office allows me royalties. I really don't understand the possible pitfalls of having my originals published. If not published, my understanding is that someone would need my permission to perform or record them. I'm just trying to control what happens to my original material.
Spend some time on the Harry Fox Agency website:

https://www.harryfox.com/#/
__________________
Martin 0-28VS
Gibson Arlo Guthrie
Fender Robert Cray Strat
Buckeye Mandolin
Kamaka HF-1D
Tom Yocky dulcimer
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 08-03-2019, 04:59 PM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 11,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by keith.rogers View Post
It's not copyright itself, which occurs as soon as you write it down or record it, presumably, but the registration that provides legal recourse.
Yes since he said the works were "registered" I stated it provides for legal recourse if infringed. But that is not really what he was asking about .
Quote:
So, if the work is copyrighted, you do not "lose control" but if you have not registered it, you will have a very hard time making an infringement claim (though you might find a lawyer willing to take a lot of your money for one).
Well actually as I stated yes you do in fact "lose control" over the specific aspect of control the OP was asking about . I was attempting to point out that in answer to his actual question, once a copyrighted work is "published" (distributed to the public) registered or not, then in reality the author no longer has " legal control" over "who" can then perform/cover that work in public.
Once it is published the copyright holder is entitled to royalty compensation (whether or not it logistically amounts to anything is different discussion) But the copyright holder has no legal control over who or when it is performed /covered in public.




Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
I do play my songs in public, and they are registered. My concern was in having them played on the radio.
My understanding is that radio play constitutes "publishing". Once something is published, does that mean the song is fair game for anyone to perform?
Yes once it is published it is "fair game" for anyone to perform..... Question do you play any covers in public ? if so then you realize the author has no control over you doing that, that is same the situation.

Quote:
If so, I assume the fact that the songs are registered with BMI and the copyright office allows me royalties. I really don't understand the possible pitfalls of having my originals published.
There are no pitfalls (that I can see) as far as them being "fair game for performance" per se . The possible pitfalls have nothing to do with performance, they have to do with simple logistics . Once published and distributed say radio airplay, then there is more of possibility (probably very very slim but still more possible) that someone might reproduce and distribute and either falsely claim authorship, or attempt to distribute without paying the royalty fees for a reproducing a cover ( SEE The above mentioned Harry Fox agency) Both of these 'Infringements" are covered under Copyright protection law . Again no guarantee it won't happen, only legal recourse if it did . But the likelihood is pretty slim unless they are so overwhelmingly outstanding that you should probably already be promoting them to the top artists in the business. Jusss sayin'




Quote:
If not published, my understanding is that someone would need my permission to perform or record them. I'm just trying to control what happens to my original material.
Technically that's correct someone would need to get permission to perform them in public .
Technically would not need your permission to simply "record" your song but would definitely legally need permission to try to publish that recording .

But again the real question is "why" would you want to "control" someone simply performing a cover of your song ?
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud

Last edited by KevWind; 08-03-2019 at 05:28 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 08-03-2019, 05:30 PM
Mr Bojangles Mr Bojangles is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2014
Posts: 744
Default

Thank you KevWind, you have addressed and answered my questions and concerns. I have an offer to record and get some radio air play for a few of my songs. I just don't know if the airplay and public exposure is worth the risk of losing assignment rights. My own performances are not good enough to make me famous or wealthy, but a couple of the songs themselves are pretty good (in my humble opinion), and are frequently requested when I play in public. I just don't want to lose control over who I might want to grant recording permission to down the road. I keep getting requests for CD's, but I don't distribute any for the same reason, and also because I'm not satisfied with my recording abilities.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I find this to be a very complicated subject, which is probably why there are attorneys who specialize in it.
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 08-04-2019, 07:06 AM
KevWind's Avatar
KevWind KevWind is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Edge of Wilderness Wyoming
Posts: 11,551
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
Thank you KevWind, you have addressed and answered my questions and concerns. I have an offer to record and get some radio air play for a few of my songs. I just don't know if the airplay and public exposure is worth the risk of losing assignment rights. My own performances are not good enough to make me famous or wealthy, but a couple of the songs themselves are pretty good (in my humble opinion), and are frequently requested when I play in public. I just don't want to lose control over who I might want to grant recording permission to down the road. I keep getting requests for CD's, but I don't distribute any for the same reason, and also because I'm not satisfied with my recording abilities.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I find this to be a very complicated subject, which is probably why there are attorneys who specialize in it.
Thanks but I am not sure I have really helped as you still seem a bit confused.

First in full disclosure I am not a copyright lawyer . While trying to get a publishing deal I personally studied and attended several seminars on the subject. So while I do have a basic working knowledge (maybe just enough to be dangerous )

.First..... Let's take any emotion out of the equation. Again to clarify published or not, objectively you have no practical logistical control over who might "record" your song. So "permission to record" is in practical terms meaningless to begin with.



Objectively I have to admit I am completely baffled buy your concern over someone performing or recording your songs.

Let's use a couple hypotheticals ---- So you go ahead and record and get some radio airplay.

Then:

# 1 Joe Schmuck and the Tear Jerkers perform your song at Bubba's Bar in Left Field, Wyoming ( or even at Radio City NYC) .. What possible downside do you perceive as being possible ?

#2 You register you song with the Harry Fox agency or similar entity , and Joe Schmuck and the Tear Jerkers record a cover of you song, pay the mechanical rights fees to HF or other, and make 2k CDs with you listed as the songwriter in the credits .


So the question is what possible "downside" do you perceive as being possible with either of these happening ?

Again from an objective view . Do you play any covers in public ? if you do then what is the possible downside for the author of not having control over you doing that or not ??????????????????????

I guess I am also confused because if you do not want anyone performing or recording/distributing your songs then-----not only should you not publish them, but you yourself should also never play them in public.
__________________
" Peace cannot be kept by force. It can only be achieved by understanding." Albert Einstein
Enjoy the Journey.... Kev...


KevWind at Soundcloud

Last edited by KevWind; 08-04-2019 at 08:13 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 08-04-2019, 07:20 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: May 2019
Location: Texas
Posts: 187
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr Bojangles View Post
Thank you KevWind, you have addressed and answered my questions and concerns. I have an offer to record and get some radio air play for a few of my songs. I just don't know if the airplay and public exposure is worth the risk of losing assignment rights. My own performances are not good enough to make me famous or wealthy, but a couple of the songs themselves are pretty good (in my humble opinion), and are frequently requested when I play in public. I just don't want to lose control over who I might want to grant recording permission to down the road. I keep getting requests for CD's, but I don't distribute any for the same reason, and also because I'm not satisfied with my recording abilities.

Thanks to everyone for their advice. I find this to be a very complicated subject, which is probably why there are attorneys who specialize in it.
I think you should talk to a lawyer.

From the Copyright Office (link I posted earlier - emphasis mine):

Copyright provides the owner of copyright with the exclusive right to
• Reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords
• Prepare derivative works based upon the work
• Distribute copies or phonorecords of the work to the public by sale or other transfer of ownership or by rental, lease, or lending
• Perform the work publicly if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, or choreographic work; a pantomime; or a motion picture or other audiovisual work
• Display the work publicly if it is a literary, musical, dramatic, or choreographic work; a pantomime; or a pictorial, graphic, or sculptural work. This right also applies to the individual
images of a motion picture or other audiovisual work.
• Perform the work publicly by means of a digital audio transmission if the work is a sound
recording
Copyright also provides the owner of copyright the right to authorize others to exercise these exclusive rights, subject to certain statutory limitations.
What generally happens is that you make your work public so it gets reproduced and you get money for that. But, you can certainly claim infringement if someone does any of those things you have the exclusive right to, i.e., without first getting permission. But, you'd have to pursue that legally, and unless someone is making a lot of money, or the infringer has a lot of money, it's rarely a worthwhile exercise.
__________________
"I know in the morning that it's gonna be good, when I stick out my elbows and they don't bump wood." - Bill Kirchen
Home Recordings on SoundCloud - Home Recordings on YouTube
Martin GPCPA3, "homemade" (1980) hog-D
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 08-04-2019, 07:56 AM
jim1960 jim1960 is offline
Registered User
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,268
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
I guess I am also confused because if you do not want anyone performing or recording/distributing your songs then-----not only should you not publish them, but you yourself should also never play them in public.
Exactly. In today's world, every person is walking around with a video recorder in their pocket. If someone were hellbent on recording one of the OP's songs, they don't need to wait for him to record it first. They just need to video him playing it out somewhere.

Reminds me of a song...
"People writing songs that voices never share
No one dared
Disturb the sound of silence"
__________________
Jim

2017 Circle Strings 00 bastogne walnut/sinker redwood
2015 Circle Strings Parlor shedua/western red cedar
2009 Bamburg JSB Signature Baritone macassar ebony/carpathian spruce
2004 Taylor XXX-RS indian rosewood/sitka spruce
2002 Taylor 814ce Limited cocobolo/sitka spruce
1988 Martin D-16 mahogany/sitka spruce


SoundCloud link
Spotify
YouTube
Reply With Quote
Reply

  The Acoustic Guitar Forum > General Acoustic Guitar and Amplification Discussion > RECORD

Thread Tools



All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:37 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, The Acoustic Guitar Forum
vB Ad Management by =RedTyger=