Anytime you use someone else’s original music, the creator has the right to compensation through a license fee, and/or a songwriting credit that ensures a fair share of royalties.
If someone has released music that uses your beat without your permission or a proper credit, there are few things you can do about it. Start by adding the new composition and its ISRC into your Songtrust account so we can begin registering your share and asserting a claim globally. Once your work has been registered at a PRO, they will reach out to us — your acting publisher — if our registration conflicts with another one they have on file for that work.
When someone uses your beat without your permission, the most common type of conflict that results from it is a “claiming authorship dispute” — a disagreement over the authorship (or original writers) of the musical work.
In order to resolve (and win) this dispute in your favor, you will have to prove that you are the original creator of said work and your work was original enough to warrant a valid copyright. Keeping track of the original files with timestamps is a great way to show when that work was first created. You can also register it with the U.S. Copyright Office if you want to be extra safe.
We always recommend signing split sheets with writers you collaborate with or sell beats to. That way it’s clear how much ownership you have before a work is released to the public. Signed and dated split sheets are the easiest way to resolve these disputes. They’re often resolved in Songtrust’s favor once we provide split sheets to a PRO, since the documentation shows that all parties were aware of the agreement prior to registering the work.
If you don't have a split sheet, you will need to provide other forms of evidence to support your claim and show the alleged infringer copied or used your work.
Songtrust handles these types of disputes up to a certain point; if a PRO informs us your documentation is not strong enough to support your claim, you will have to consider hiring an attorney and filing a proper lawsuit.
We also only handle disputes on the publishing side of things, so while we will do our best to assert your claim and make sure you are fairly credited for the work, we cannot help you get said work removed from streaming platforms.
Disclaimer: This article is for educational and informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. The content contained in this article is not legal advice or a legal opinion on any specific matter or matters.
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