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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005

    Arrow Credits on CD Covers

    What is the name of your state?What is the name of your state? Indiana

    I share sound recording copyrights with another musician. We disagree on the final mixes, as we are each focused on different markets, and so we plan to do our own individual versions of the mixes/CD, each with different covers. We will soon be presenting these CDs to powerful music industry agents with whom we've been meeting. What are our obligations as far as placing proper performance, co-production, and engineering credits on the CD covers---I believe he doesn't want to put my credits on his version of the CD. Also, I own the studio exclusively (the entire project was done in this studio), and I want the studio credits on all CD covers (we have had a verbal understanding since the beginning of the project that the credits were one form of payback for me, as he has no means to pay for studio time, was given that free of charge, and has made no financial investment in this project at all). Is this mandatory under copyright law?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    Is this mandatory under copyright law?
    No. There is no general right to attribution under copyright law. There are some limited rights, but these are solely for certain types of video copyrights. So, he does not legally have to give credit to anyone.

    This doesn't really help you in this case, but for the future, you should do everything by contract -- you can create attribution rights under contract law if you want. But the U.S., unlike most countries, does not require attribution in most cases.

    Here's an interesting article on this by a noted legal scholar, if you are interested: [url]http://www.wm.edu/law/publications/jol/95_96/lemley.html[/url]

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    I'm in a similar situation.....

    what if the other person (who recorded in our studio) released the CD without any mention of "our" studio - and instead printed another studio on CD??? For example, his friend's studio (where none of the work was done, 0%).

    Isn't this misrepresentation? It falsely represents another studio. Maybe they don't have to credit the studio, but they cannot falsely credit another studio, right?

    Thanks multitudes for any info

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    Bay Area, CA
    You should open up a new thread if you have a new question -- otherwise it can be confusing as to whom is answering whom.

    But the general answer to your question is that, since there is no right to attribution, the corollary is that you can also attribute to whomever you want. If you wanted to make up names for yourself, and give those made-up names writing credits or playing credits, that's fine. You could make up a studio name, whatever. Unless you signed some contract specifying that you had to give the studio proper credit on the CD, then you can put whatever you want on the CD.

    The only caveat to this is if you were to use the real name of someone who didn't play on the CD, then it is possible you could get into trouble. Although there are no rights of attribution, the courts have carved out, for lack of a better word, an exception for "reverse-attribution" under trademark law -- basically, a person (usually a famous person) has the legal right to NOT be attributed to something they didn't participate in. So if you said that Eddie Van Halen played guitar on your CD (and he didn't), then he could sue you under trademark law under this "reverse attribution" doctrine. Basically, EVH has the "right" to not be connected with your CD which he has nothing to do with.

    But that's it. The above rights only apply to people, but I suppose if one had the time and money you could try and set a new precedent for a business entity (the studio) to sue under "reverse attribution" -- but even then, it would be the studio named on the CD who would have the cause of action, and not the studio that you really recorded at -- they are just out of luck here.

    And BTW, I doubt you will find anything if you google "reverse attrbiution" -- I think I just made up that term! But the concept, which is part of tradermark law, is a real concept.

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