When does producer become co writer?

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So I produced ( to the best of my ability) a few songs recently for an artist, some of which I actually played all the instruments, did the whole backing track, changed the direction of the song significantly.

I'm credited as a producer, but when do you think you become almost a co writer?




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  • Danny1969Danny1969 Frets: 5706
    I think it needs to be discussed before the sessions start really. I used to do a lot of rap BT's for artist who could rap well but couldn't play any instruments. We talked about it before so we knew what the score was. None of that stuff ever made it big though, I could have been kicking myself though if it did because I basically agreed to an hourly rate and that was it. 

    I think though if you come up or influence the chord progression and / or  the way the melody sits over the chords then it's defo a writing credit. 
    www.2020studios.co.uk 
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  • fretmeisterfretmeister Frets: 13924
    Producers normally become co-writers 5 minutes after the song reaches the top 40.



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  • CirrusCirrus Frets: 5304
    I've been in the same situation, and honestly I didn't think I'd become a songwriter - because if it hadn't been for the guy paying me, the song would never have existed. And where I was creating new parts, or significantly changing existing ideas... I was doing so to someone else's creative blueprint. Producer is a broad enough term to cover almost everything I think.
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1549
    Cirrus said:
    I've been in the same situation, and honestly I didn't think I'd become a songwriter - because if it hadn't been for the guy paying me, the song would never have existed. And where I was creating new parts, or significantly changing existing ideas... I was doing so to someone else's creative blueprint. Producer is a broad enough term to cover almost everything I think.
    Yeah....but C0-writer demands more £££ no?


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  • In the old days and arranger did not get a writing credit (in the case of Mick Robson, he didn't even get a co-producer credit on his Bowie albums), but it appears more prevalent these days for a producer to get a co-write credit.
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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 287
    It's not unusual for producers who have enough clout to negotiate points on the song. If you've actually created the music from scratch there's an argument for a writer credit, but if you've just moulded it in to shape (even if that means you've played a lot of the parts and added a lot to the arrangement) then that's producing. 

    You're correct that a credited writer will earn more from a song than a producer typically would, as the writers are eligible for the PRS payments, but unless the song is likely to either chart, get substantial radio play, be performed in large venues, or get a publishing sync, you're just going to be getting a percentage of next-to-nothing!
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  • spark240spark240 Frets: 1549
    mike257 said:
    It's not unusual for producers who have enough clout to negotiate points on the song. If you've actually created the music from scratch there's an argument for a writer credit, but if you've just moulded it in to shape (even if that means you've played a lot of the parts and added a lot to the arrangement) then that's producing. 

    You're correct that a credited writer will earn more from a song than a producer typically would, as the writers are eligible for the PRS payments, but unless the song is likely to either chart, get substantial radio play, be performed in large venues, or get a publishing sync, you're just going to be getting a percentage of next-to-nothing!
    Cool...thanks....yeah I appreciate that the reality is somewhat far fetched...but its the principle I was pondering....


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  • mike257mike257 Frets: 287
    spark240 said:
    mike257 said:
    It's not unusual for producers who have enough clout to negotiate points on the song. If you've actually created the music from scratch there's an argument for a writer credit, but if you've just moulded it in to shape (even if that means you've played a lot of the parts and added a lot to the arrangement) then that's producing. 

    You're correct that a credited writer will earn more from a song than a producer typically would, as the writers are eligible for the PRS payments, but unless the song is likely to either chart, get substantial radio play, be performed in large venues, or get a publishing sync, you're just going to be getting a percentage of next-to-nothing!
    Cool...thanks....yeah I appreciate that the reality is somewhat far fetched...but its the principle I was pondering....
    If you feel your contribution justifies a writing credit and you've got a good relationship with the artist you can always raise it with them. Some producers make it part of their contract up front. 
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