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What Can I Do?

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by BigTrey, Feb 21, 2006.

  1. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Hey RO'ers. Not too long ago I completed a compilation album with some guys that wanted to make an album with my label. I gave them free studio time in exchange for working on the album, but there were no contracts signed between us. Now that the Cd is finished I noticed that the guys don't come around anymore to start on another album or even record songs. I am trying to run a business here and was wondering what rights would I have to use some of the songs that they have made even if they have the lyrics that they wrote on them. Can I get sued for using the song? I have thought about just scrapping the lyrics and reusing the beats for other artists on their albums. I am the producer of the music and just don't want to get burned later on down the road when album sales start picking up. Does anyone have any advice on the matter?
  2. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    There's the key. You gave them time and in return they gave you credit.
    That was the deal. No deals were made for return business or any residuals. Their obligation to you is done provided that they gave you proper credit on the album.

    For a trade off deal like that I would have made a deal so that they would have to mention my studio in any of the advertisements for the album. That way, your name is there and that could promote your business.

    As for using their music... it depends on who actually owns it. Is it yours, theirs, some record companies? I would definitely not use it.

    Lets say that you did use it..and word got out that you used the same music for different artists. That would cause serious problems for your business.

    You did a good thing and you may not see any rewards from it. But the next time, you'll know what to do.
  3. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    who wrote the beats? there are two sides to the issue. one a moral one. if you wrote the beats and they are timestamped on your DAW then use them for whatever you want. you have as much moral right to do so as them. PR the work you did and use it to your advantage.

    if you didnt, stick to the agreement you made.

    next time without wanting to sound condescending, never enter into anything business-related with friends, family, or people you dont know without at least a heads of agreement or contract stating clearly the deal and anticipating the worst.

    make it simple, dont try to write your own legalese. the courts if it ever gets that far are far more sympathetic with simple agreements that can't be misinterpreted than with complex ones that can.

    have you tried talking to them?
  4. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    Thanks for the reply guys, I wrote the beats my self and they are time stamped with my DAW. I was just wondering because I decided to rework some of the songs that were done on the album because it seems that I have run into a group of guys that really wasn't into doing music on a professional level and trying to secure a P&D deal with a major label. So I decided to cut my losses and keep doing what Im doing. Thanks for the input fellas from now on I know to make sure that I have a contract signed stating what the agreement is before I do any work.
  5. Jeemy

    Jeemy Well-Known Member

    Just to be clear, I meant use the beats only for whatever you want.....I don't think morally you can use their vocals, except to PR the work you did for them as part of studio promo.....
  6. BigTrey

    BigTrey Active Member

    That's what I thikn I'll do Jeemy, thanks for the sound advice.
  7. kelly644

    kelly644 Guest

    I think if the artist he was working for wrote the lyrics for "the beats", then the artist owns the track.

    There was a section in "Confessions of a Record Produce" dedicated to this.

    It basically said that the laws are screwy for people who write music with keyboards, because the way laws are written, a beat isnt considered a song until the lyrics have been placed on it. The person who wrote the lyrics becomes the one considered to be the primary creator.

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