drummer is asking for writing credits

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by AdamR, Jul 11, 2013.

  1. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    So the other day our drummer sent the guitarist 3 emails ranting about writing credits. He's also brought up copy writing the songs on a few occasions. I have no problem giving him credit were credit is due however We have only been a full band for 2 months have have played 1 show. He also sent me a message asking if we got paid for from the venue after the show. I told him we made $2 per ticket sold, we sold 18 tickets (he sold 2, I sold 13) but we didnt get paid because we didnt stay till the end of the show so no one was there to collect our $36.

    To me this seems like a non issue this early in the game even though the band seems to be doing well but he keeps pushing the issue and its pissing our singer off who feels like the trademark for the band name and song copy-rights should be under mine name because off the time, effort and money Ive sunk in to the band. How do you guys decide how to split these things up ?
  2. callofcthulhu


    Oct 16, 2012
    Agreed that it's ridiculous to be having these conversations after one gig.

    But, better to have them now than when there's a million of dollars and a squad of lawyers involved, right?

    IMO unless it's a hired gun scenario (i.e. you're paying a member for their time spent with the band) or one member has literally written out sheet music with every one else's parts in exacting detail, anything less than an equal way split is embarking down the path to douchebaggery.

    Sure, you might have good reasons for putting something in your name, and the other members might even agree, but the reality is that if you're in a real band the only way it's ever going to get off the ground is if every member has put their all into it, and no amount of "Well I thought of the name" or "We came up with that chorus because of my riff" can outweigh the hours, blood, sweat, and tears that someone else has put in.

  3. etoncrow

    etoncrow (aka Greg Harman, the Mad Hatter Gold Supporting Member

    As said above, unless someone has written out (or recorded) all the parts and/or the player is a hired gun and paid immediately for his input then it should be an equal split. If you do not think the player has contributed equally then find a player who will.
  4. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    That was pretty much our plan and I thought everyone understood it would be "All songs writen by Into The Coven" Everyone writes their parts pretty much or at least has the freedom to add their twist on them. When I write I make demo's, usually 2 guitar tracks and my bass parts then everyone gets a copy so they can figure out the parts and add to them. But him complaining to only one member of the band instead of everyone is annoying.
  5. sadowskyguy


    Dec 24, 2011
    Greenville NC
    My understanding has been that the actual songwriter (words and melody) is the only one who can actually copyright. Just because the drummer came up with a good rhythm on the song doesnt give him songwriting credits. Even if he cane up with the chords that matched the songwriter's melody it wouldnt matter. The word and melody are the song from a legal perspective.
  6. This

    A member "writing their own part", is not the same as song writing credits.
  7. So, what's the drummers issue ? He want's individual credits as opposed to written by "band name" ?
  8. drummer needs to put it in a lower gear and calm down.
  9. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Yes, I think he feels he's going to get screwed out of his $1 of royalties or something. His main issue I think is because he write a verse worth of lyrics to a song I wrote the music for 14 years ago.
  10. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    as i understand it, it's split 1/3 music, 1/3 melody, 1/3 lyrics.

    so yeah, me may be due something for his lyric writing. but mainly i agree with DwaynieAD, he needs to calm it down a notch.
  11. knumbskull


    Jul 28, 2007
    oh and copyright is automatic. over here anyway.
  12. Well you could always just go ahead and give him a dollar, and buy him out.
  13. pklima

    pklima Commercial User

    May 2, 2003
    Kraków, Polska
    Karoryfer Samples
    To look at it another way, the emotional value of these credits is probably bigger than their monetary value. I'd be inclined to give the drummer credit if it makes him happy.

    $1 is probably not far off, unless you're doing music that might get used in a TV commercial or recorded by a pop star. I once yelled at a band that wanted to credit me with cowriting a song because if the album sold what the label thought it would, they'd end up making my tax returns more complicated for the equivalent of $10.
  14. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT
    Im sure it is emotional. The thing that is driving us crazy is why is it such a big deal when we've only done 3 rough demo's. Im sure this being the first original band he's been in has a lot to do with it too.
  15. rocmonster


    Oct 31, 2011
    Tell him there is only one Neil Peart in the world.

    The issues he raised (as others have said) make sense if you are dealing with $$$$$, not $36 worth of show tickets. I am curious as to why no one was at the venue at the end of the night to settle with the bar over ticket/entry fees?
  16. john_g

    john_g Supporting Member

    Sep 14, 2007
    Everyone else here has already covered it, but IMHO, at this point everyone should get an equal split (unless you wrote every single part) When I write, I usually always come up with the drum, bass, and at least basic guitar and keyboard parts. I have only recently started writing vocal melodies, but even doing all that, I would still probably give an equal split to band members. Now, if the band starts generating real money, lawyers/managers/labels start getting involved, then I would look at who is really doing what, but not one gig into it.
  17. AdamR

    AdamR Inactive

    Sep 24, 2007
    Bethel CT

    It was a 8 hour show that ended 4 hours after we played in a venue with no A/C. I stuck around for a few bands after us but only because my wife was bitching and I wasnt worried about the $30, everyone else left before me.
  18. Seems a lot of people (posters here included) do not know the difference between songwriting credit and performance credit.

    Writing your own part to a song written by another member does not count as songwriting credit unless the part is so unique that it materially changes the song.
  19. Either cut him in on copyrights or start paying him for all his services - including paid rehearsals.
  20. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    1) It's ridiculous.

    2) Under US Copyright law, the creator automatically holds a copyright on works as soon as they are fixed in a medium. (Print, audio, etc.)

    If he's really writing stuff, tell him to mail himself a copy of each work as he finishes it - then don't open the letter. The sealed, dated envelope will prove the date of creation. (This also puts the work on him, since he's the only one who cares.)

    If what you have is audio, put it on a USB drive and mail it as per my suggestion above.

    Problem solved.