Talent Manager and Producer Bruce Edwin gives here Free Advice to Artists on How to Succeed in Hollywood and the Music Industry and Art World.
Philly Girl below recorded a song with someone and she did not have a “split” sheet (document of ownership) created with him. Now, he is reportedly trying to steal the part of the song she wrote and record it with another woman. Bruce earlier stated that he could not do this, that at once an artist creates something, they technically have a copyright of ownership. Bruce also suggested that she could sue this person for acting in bad faith by willfully stealing a part of her creative work.
Philly Girl wrote: Thanks for the advice. I know that I have rights with me co-writing but he is taking advantage of the fact that I didn’t have the proper paperwork in place to begin with. I can’t technically prove what I wrote so it’s his word against mine. I left the conversation alone and decided to move on because of the stress and drama. However, I would like to recover ownership of my creations because they were from my soul. How would I sue or have any legal rights without the paperwork?
Bruce Edwin states: Philly Girl, there is a thing called a “poor man’s copyright.” What you do, is you make a copy of the the lyrics you wrote to your song, or if it’s music, copy it in a flash drive, and then seal that up very tight and put it in a package and mail it to yourself and do not open it. The time stamp from the Post Office is your proof of the date of creation at least from the date of which you mailed it. Do that now with anything you have written.
When you can, get on the Library of Congress site and actually register anything you can that you totally own. If it’s with a co-owner, then physically include them in this process with you.
Right now, if I were you I would look up ASCAP or BMI and contact them and tell them your problem.
I cannot give you legal advice as I am not an attorney, but I would contact an attorney and ask them for a discount in sending a letter on your behalf to him. Write the letter yourself, what you want him to do, and then ask the attorney to revise it for you. The gist of the letter should indicate that he cannot do what you said he threatened to do without your written permission, and that he must sign a split sheet indicating your co ownership of what you wrote.
Wishing you the best.
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