Legal Question in Entertainment Law in New York

Hi, I am a musician who is getting ready to copyright a song. While I did 85% of the song myself I worked with another musician who did the other 15%. I want to pay the other musician their royalty rights and what she is owed for her work however, I'm curious to if I have to name her as part copyright owner? I plan on getting the song licensed and do not want to have to attempt to contact her every time I need to license the song. She has been struggling with drugs and is not very dependable is this legal if I am willing to give her publishing and everything else that she is owed. Will I be able to give her royalty payments if her her name is not on the copyright?

Thank you

Asked on 6/05/12, 9:57 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

Thomas Sirianni The Law Office of Thomas A. Sirianni

Thank you for submitting your question. In order to advise you regarding your issue, I will need more detailed information. Please feel free to give me a call anytime on my cell at 516-314-1343 so that we can discuss the particulars regarding your inquiry.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Tommy A. Sirianni, Esq.

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Answered on 6/05/12, 10:44 am

Christopher Mitchell Law Offices of Laurence Kramer, PLLC

The answer to this question depends on the arrangement you and the other musician had together. You can offer her payment as a "work for hire" to compensate her for the 15% contribution in which she will relinquish any and all joint ownership rights to you. This would be the simplest way in allowing you to proceed with copyright protection as the sole owner to the musical composition.

I would need more information to discuss the additional options further. Feel free to contact me to discuss.

[email protected]

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Answered on 6/11/12, 7:01 am

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