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(Message started by: musiclawboy on Mar 24th, 2004, 6:19pm)

Title: joint ownership
Post by musiclawboy on Mar 24th, 2004, 6:19pm
If I'm correct in understanding copyright law, if a lyricist intends for music to be written to lyrics at the time the lyrics are created, the individual who writes the music is a joint owner of the lyric, even though the lyricist may not approve of the music. Therefore, does it make sense to say, "If I intend for music to be written to my lyrics after the lyric is created, I may reject music written to my lyric and retain sole ownership of the lyric?"

Title: Re: joint ownership
Post by cloneman on Mar 26th, 2004, 6:49pm
Actually, under the copyright law a joint work is "a work prepared by two or more authors with the intention that their contributions be merged into inseparable or interdependent parts of a unitary whole."

I would argue that if you don't like the music, you don't intend it to be merged with your lyrics, and thus the composer would have no copyright claim to your lyrics absent the consensual combination of the lyrics and music.

Note, I am not arguing from case law, but from a "ordinary language" interpretation of the statute.

Title: Re: joint ownership
Post by M_Arthur_Auslander on Mar 27th, 2004, 7:30am
Dear Musiclawboy,

Without taking professional responsibility, it is my understanding of the law that the lyrics can stand alone even when to music not owned.

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