Originally Posted by soitainly
After reading the Tate Music Group thread, I am asking myself at what point is copyrighting a song a must. Say a band has been writing songs together for years without any real thought of making any money at it and one member of the group takes it on himself to copyright the songs. Does that mean everyone else gets screwed.
So what if Pete Best had gone behind John, Paul, and George's back, and then claimed ownership of The Beatles songs after they made it big?
Copyright registration is just prima facie evidence (i.e., creates a rebuttable presumption). It does not prove ownership. There are plenty of posts on the topic of copyright registration (by me and others). My suggestion is you take a look at the available info and let me know if you have any specific questions after that.
When people write songs together, then they are considered joint authors. This is another subject that I've covered. Take a look at what I've written and then let me know if you have additional questions.
Of course, if you are writing bass lines for the songs, then that's a whole other conversation that's been posted about ad nauseum on this website. Spoiler alert: absent very unusual circumstances, I don't think a bass line is a copyrightable contribution to the musical composition.