Our band has been working on an album for the past 2.5 years.
One member (call him Sam) left the band two years ago and another (call him Ash) left a six months ago. Sam and Ash were involved in the intial concept of 5 of our songs. Sam worked on melody and Ash on lyrics.
After 2.5 years of hard work we finally finished the arrangement and recordings of the songs. Sam and Ash did not play any part in the arrangement and recording. They did not play any instruments or invest any time or money.
Ash copyrighted the lyrics to these 5 songs in January 2012 and said we could not use them anymore. By the way, we have time-stamped recordings of these songs from 2010. Instead of arguing with Ash we changed the lyrics and re-recorded the songs. The songs have already been released on the internet.
Now Sam has joined Ash in claiming that we stole their songs. They have started discrediting us on Facebook and the community. I would like some advice on
(i) what legal recourse does Sam and Ash have?
(ii) what legal recourse do we have in combatting their accusations?