I have an artist friend who sang a demo for a songwriter. That songwriter released the demo under the name of the artist without him knowing it. It is now on iTunes and comes up when this artist friend is searched. The songwriter is selling the song using the artist's name without permission or a contract. My questions are: #1 - how many laws does this violate and #2 - what should the artist do about it?
With no paperwork involved it would be easy (and relatively inexpensive) for the artist to have a lawyer draft up a Cease and Desist Letter demanding the songwriter remove the artist's name form any publications.
However, is it really worth it and isn’t the artist garnering some modicum of notoriety from the unwarranted release?
Like they say (I've said ) doesn’t matter what they are saying, or where or how, long as they are talking about you then you are winning.
Is it really worth the expense, and cant the artist leverage the track for his/her own use in some way?
My 2 cents of an answer on a dollar question.
This voice stealing scheme is not new... it has been happening for decades. It's why I choose not to sing solos on other people's demos anymore unless they are really dear, trusted friends.
I see the biggest two problems as (and I don't know if they apply for the singer in question)
For these reasons I'd suggest that if the singer is or aspires to be an artist, get an attorney involved, as Robert Xeno suggests. If all the singer wants to do is demo work, no problem. Enjoy the couple minutes of fame:)
Judy, great points that I had not thought about. I was mainly concerned with the ethics and financial aspects but your points about image and artistic direction are perhaps much more important!
Yeah Bret... ask Karen Taylor-Good about that sometime! Years ago when she was going after a deal, she was horrified at a demo she sang which the songwriter released without her permission. Argh.