It can be challenging to come up with something truly unique when writing a song. Whether you need a catchy hook or a metaphor to really drive home the emotional content of the song, the chances are good that previous works of music you have enjoyed will influence you.
Sometimes, those influences are subtle enough that no one else really recognizes them. Other times, it will be immediately apparent to listeners exactly where you drew your inspiration from. If the song in question achieves any degree of commercial success, you could find yourself facing claims that you violated someone else’s intellectual property rights.
Can adding a writer’s credit to your song help you avoid copyright infringement lawsuits alleging that you plagiarized the music or the lyrics?
Big-name artists often retroactively credit others for their hits
You can potentially prevent the worst plagiarism or copyright infringement claims that your song could cause by negotiating credit and possibly even royalties with the original creator who helped inspire your work.
Typically, you have to offer some kind of compensation to the individual whose work helped to inspire yours, in addition to adding their name to the credits for the song, which could amount to thousands or even millions of dollars in lost revenue for you. That being said, you can’t just sample from other artists and give them credit to avoid legal issues.
The other party has to agree with the credit, and other compensation that you’re offering, or they may still be in a position to take legal action against you for a violation of their intellectual property rights. Learning more about protecting yourself as a creative in the entertainment industry can help you avoid litigation that could damage your finances and your reputation.