Band Split!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Johnny BoomBoom, Jan 30, 2003.

  1. Well, we found out last night, after turning up to band practice - the singer and myself that is that our guitarist and drummer have decided to leave the band. We found out in an email sent at 1 minute to 6pm.

    We only discoverd this after being at the studio for 1 1/2 hours, then decided time to go - something may have happened (the guitarist was due to be 45 mins late anyway!)

    So they have decided that as they leave they would copyright 14 of our 18 songs for their own use - talk about adding insult to injury! When the band started, we were all in agreement that all members would be credited on all songs - our 2 demos state that clearly!

    Also, we have 95% of an album recorded, our manager and studio owner has recorded this for free. This was the 'advance' on our record deal, which they have now reneged (sp?) on! There were also photoshoots for publicity and for artwork for the finsihed album!

    To put it politely I'm none too happy with this!

    This is the guitarist that left us to cancel 2 gigs a few years ago, then wanted back into the band - which we were OK with, has now conspired with the drummer to 'steal' a lot of our work!

    Does anyone know anything of the copyrighting in the UK. They gave us a reference number of their 'claim' but as far as my research has taken me, thre is no formal register of coyrighting in the UK! However, I could be wrong about this.

    Anyone have any ideas about this kind of issue?

    The singer, our manager, and I want to see this project finished, and see some results from our work over the past year and a half! That's what makes me angry about this!

    Sorry for my rant! I'm jus a little miffed about all this!
  2. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK

    Regarding the copyright issue, I'm not an expert, but if you've released demos that credit the songs to the band, all the band are named and no exceptions are made clear, I would think that you have a share in the copyright. As far as I'm aware, you can stake claim to copyright in the UK merely by asserting yourself as author or joint author of the work in question - and a couple of demos probably count.

    Hope you get it sorted.


  3. Cheers wulf - I think our thinking is along similar lines (I'm no expert either!). Never thought it would come to this (didn't see it coming to be honest!). But should have, the guitarist left us in the lurch before!
  4. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Nasty... sorry to hear about that, Johnny.

    As far as copyright goes - the writers of a song automatically own the copyright. So if you and I were to write a song, we would both automatically have joint copyright in it - you don't have to register it officicially to get the copyright. So when you say the other members are copyrighting 14 of the 18 songs, what exactly are they doing? Are they registering them with MCPS or someone under their name?

  5. This again kinda sounds like what I understood - but that boils down to one persons word against another! Not sure where they registered them - I checked out all of the websites I could for the reference number that they gave, and drew a blank! Also did a check for their names and the band name - nowt!

    Thing is, over the 18 months or so we were active as this incarnation of the band, we all wrote and contributed in various ways to each of the songs! That was the way that we worked. That was also an agreement that we had with each other, everyone would get credited with every song - 'cos they had all done their part in it!
  6. Yeah, in theory that's how it works - once an intellectual work is created, it's automatically copyrighted. But proving that is another matter. If they successfully copyright the 14 songs, it'll be a messy, bitchy legal battle. Unfortunately, whoever registers the songs at the copyright office will have the upper hand.
  7. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    rabid... do you reckon that the released demos would count for something, if they explicitly credit the songs to all members of the band?


  8. I've been doing a little more research into this, and think they may have set themselves up for a fall!

    The copyright service I believe that they have used is simply a register. This can be used toi help provide an independent witness in times of a dispute! Thing is we have a lot of objective evidence showing that the material isn't theirs alone to copyright!

    Also, I suspect (haven't spoken to them, nor will I....) they have sent a cd into the copyright service to use as the copyright material. If they have used any of the material that has been recorded by our manager, they themselves are in breach of copyright - as he (the person that paid for the recordings) is the copyright holder of the track, the band as a whole (as shown on previous demos) are the copyright owners for the music.

    Ultimately we'll find out if we ever achieve any success. However, our plan is to re-use the songs that are definitely ours, the music that is definitely ours and the lyrics that are definitely ours. We may have to re-record some tracks. I want to make sure they don't have a claim for a penny out of us!

    Thanks for everyone who replied!
  9. moley


    Sep 5, 2002
    Hampshire, UK
    Well, good luck Johnny - let us know how it turns out!

  10. Thanks, and I will! As to your earlier post, I believe that it is MCPS that they're using - £35 for 5 years on the register sounds like their kind of deal (they were too tight for other things, I don't see them splashing out too much on something like this!;) )