I wrote lyric to a copywriter instrumental - How do I "get my share" ?
2 attorney answers
The contract that you had with the person or company governs your relationship. Normally, as an independent songwriter, you own the copyright to the lyrics and are entitled to royalties when the song is performed and/or published. Often the contract will include the assignment of the copyright. If you signed an assignment of your copyright, then you are not entitled to anything outside of the compensation spelled out by the contract. This situation requires confidential analysis by a copyright attorney who is familiar with the music business.
Mr. Sack's postings on Avvo are of a general nature, based on the facts provided and are not intended to be taken as legal advice or to establish an attorney-client relationship.
Assuming you've got a co-publishing agreement that documents that you own some --half?- of the copyright in the musical composition, then you're a co-owner of that copyright and are entitled to that share of its income. That agreement should also document who's got "administration" rights to control that copyright.
The composition should be registered with the U.S. Copyright Office, and with a performing rights organization.
Consult your own music/entertainment counsel for help.
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