Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New Jersey
I'm a songwriter. A well-known recording artist minimally contributed (1-2 lines of lyrics). I wrote 95% of this song. I am considering offering her joint copyright because she is eager to collaborate, although I write best left alone to do things my way but I feel she is providing my career with a tremendous boost by taking my song, recording it and getting it guaranteed airplay, and therefore income. My question is does it affect me monetarily to distinguish between listing her when I file copyright as contributing: "lyrics by me & her, music by me", as opposed to "lyrics & music by both me and her"? Thanks!
1 Answer from Attorneys
If what you want is to secure the maximum in rights for yourself, file two copyrights. The first would be in your name alone for the music. The second would be a derivative work in both names for the music with lyrics.
See also: http://info.corbettlaw.net/lawguru.htm