Beats, Backing Tracks and Rap Copyrights

1 10 2009

Dear Rich: If a rapper wants to register his copyrights but the backing tracks or “beats” were “written” or created by somebody who the rapper gave like $200 for the beats, can the rapper register the copyright? Is this a work for hire? Can the rapper say he wrote the whole song and the beat maker is like a drummer in a rock band who doesn’t get songwriting credit? The short answer is thatĀ If the beatmaker’s contribution is mostly percussive, you can probably register the song copyright in your own name.


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