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Eminent Member
Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 17
Topic starter  

I need some help! I have put together a band and work principally with the guitarist to flesh out arrangements of songs etc that I have written. The guitarist often suggests different voicings of chords and adds riffs to the music- we might also snatch a bar here add a bar there etc.
Here comes the rub. Ethically apart from writing the song and lyrics he puts in as much time as I do and of course without him the song would sound different. Whilst all that is well and good, given that the original vocal melody and rythymn of the song dont change does all the above makehim liable for 50% author credits?? Its a sticky area because from an ethical and moral point of view I would say it does. From a songs point of view I would say it doesnt but that he owns 50% of that particular arrangement for that song without owning the original song.
My worry is what if I say ok you own 50% and then something happens etc. I loose my original song. Advice please!!!!

Trusted Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 64

Arranging the song doesn't make one own the song. The song is still 100% yours. You own the copyright to the original melodies and chords of the song. Of course, if you feel the guitarist's input is so significant that he deserves co-credit to the song, then you can choose to share the credit with him, but that is your decision. Legally, the song is your because you came up with it first.