Burbank, CA asked in Contracts, Copyright and Entertainment / Sports for California

Q: How much ownership of music do I have when a producer does a different version of the music I originally created?

I wrote a song and did the music arrangement in Logic Pro X using many royalty free loops to create my song. If I work with a producer who does his own interpretation of my original song via new music production how much ownership do I have regarding the music content?

I copyrighted my lyrics and music arrangement with the government and have my certificate.

I understand he is the producer but the influence of the new sound he made came from my original song so shouldn't I have credit not only as the songwriter but for music production or what would you call it on the split sheet?

Also would I still be able to shop my original version around to artists, etc. without his approval and keep my 100% ownership of the original version?

He did not use any of my recorded audio. He created all of the audio, "influenced" by my original song.

He wants to use splits sheets but how much % should I get for the music (lyrics I know are 100%).

Thank you- Jane

2 Lawyer Answers
Robert P. Cogan
Robert P. Cogan pro label Lawyers, want to be a Justia Connect Pro too? Learn more ›
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • San Diego, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: "Influenced by your original song" may or may not be a derivative work. His audio needs to be compared to your work.

A split sheet is useful. You might want to use a collaboration agreement along with the split sheet.

Please also see my answer on Avvo.

Marcos Garciaacosta agrees with this answer

Marcos Garciaacosta
Marcos Garciaacosta
  • Intellectual Property Lawyer
  • Mesa, AZ

A: You need to negotiate the terms and see what you can achieve.

It will depend on the possibility for economic success and the amount of work he will take from you.

As indicated by colleague, the two products need to be compared to see if they have enough similarity to be considered a derivative

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