Last week Loudr announced that they are making it super easy for artists to obtain a mechanical license to (legally) release cover songs through any digital distributor (not just them). We Now Offer Proof Of License! Record, engineer, and master the recordings; Assignment using ISRC and UPC codes. If you intend to use copyrighted material as an audio-recording only: CD or digital stream, you’ll need a mechanical licence. However, it is important to know the laws regarding cover songs before you start covering other artists. While there are some exceptions to this (such as public domain works), the golden rule is a common guideline that can helpful in determining what rights need to be licensed and how to obtain them. What are your experiences? Is it necessary to get licenses to release cover songs if I plan to only release them on Spotify? Do pay the Rights’s Owner or publisher mechanical license royalties in any case. Royalty Solutions offers the music clearance services you need. (323) 776-6475. If you’re lucky, the song you wish to cover will exist in the Public Domain, and therefore, you won’t require a licence to use it. Our partner—Easy Song Licensing—can help you get a mechanical license for your cover songs. Registration No: 958290632 Winsor Road, Totton, Southampton SO40 9HQ. We've partnered with Royalty Solutions to offer two different pricing options to clear your cover songs. Cover song licences for the vast majority of music in the UK can be obtained from PRS for Music — and their affiliated organisations — who ensure that original creators receive the royalties. Clear any cover song in 1-2 business days. All the information I read states that you need a licence to record and distribute for sale or publish publicly. Instead, you’ll need to seek permission and make arrangements with the original writer or their publisher — depending on who is in possession of the rights. It’s when you record and publish the song that cover song licensing issues can arise. Performances in the UK are covered by a venue’s PRS license but cover songs will need their own license. Songfile is the quick and easy way to license cover songs for physical and digital formats such as CDs, downloads, ringtones and interactive streams. Therefore, if a song hasn’t been commercially released as a record then you can’t get a compulsory license. Get an International Standard Recording Code (ISRC) to distinguish your cover version from anybody else’s. Cover Song Licensing Services What is a mechanical license? The rights owner of a song has the right to control who makes the first record. Some original copyright owners are happy to see their songs covered and uploaded to YouTube by new artists. Mechanical royalties are paid by whoever obtains a mechanical license to reproduce and distribute a piece of music, such as in album form or as ringtone, digital download, or interactive stream. Visit the following websites for more information: It costs nothing to cover a song when singing it live. Even if you don’t stand to profit from your release—you still need a mechanical license to release your cover song. That said, the copyright holder could choose to mute or even take down the video — though this is rarer in recent years. Not always. For example, when your band plays "Smooth Criminal" (written by Michael Jackson). How you intend to use another musician’s song will dictate whether or not you need a licence and, if you do, what type of licence you need to obtain before you can legitimately cover the song. By properly licensing your recordings, you ensure that the proper publishers and songwriters are paid! Quick answer: You can, but there are some risks to posting cover songs on YouTube. Pick the license that fits your needs - choose a standard license or limited license based on how many downloads and streams you’ll receive. A new recording of an existing song requires a cover song license, referred to as a compulsory mechanical license. Using a cover song in a live performance requires the least licencing procedure because a live performance is not technically a publication. Whether you are new to publishing or you’ve got decades of hits under your belt, HFA is here to help you with mechanical licensing and collecting the royalties you’re due. Royalty Solutions is a partner that provides mechanical licenses for TuneCore distributed tracks through TuneLicensing.com. By continuing to navigate this website, we’ll assume you agree to this. Whether you are new to publishing or you’ve got decades of hits under your belt, HFA is here to help you with mechanical licensing and collecting the royalties you’re due. This should not be confused with using actual samples of copyrighted music in your videos. By requesting a mechanical license, you are ensuring that the original creator of the song is getting their fair share of the sales of the cover. But without help, licensing cover songs can be a huge hassle—the terms are often confusing and time-consuming. Print License: Gives you the right to print lyrics or notes in a book, magazine, ebook or other publication. How to Sell Music on iTunes UK – Sell Your Songs! Get the licenses which let you record and release the original composition. If the song is not on the PRS for Music database, this does not mean that it isn’t covered by UK copyright law. This permission is also called mechanical rights. My band has been asked to do a live concert performance to be broadcast on TV. CD Baby no longer licenses cover songs directly, but we'll continue to support and pay mechanical royalties for all tracks that were previously licensed through our cover song licensing service. In order to use these platforms, you agree to comply with their terms and conditions policy. For example if I recorded my own cover of blink 182s "what's my age again" and credit the original authors in the Metadata, do I need to buy a mechanical license to release it exclusively on Spotify Master licenses are different to mechanical licenses as they cover the actual sound recording of a song, rather than the composition, lyrics & melody. Scroll down to find out more about paying royalties on a cover song if you plan on distributing it or uploading to social media channels. Share your music and earn revenue while meeting the legal requirements of covering a song. ), most other uses of copyrighted music (such as the use of a cover song on an album) will require a bit more legwork and, to be on the safe side, you should get your cover song licences in place before you start working with any cover material to save yourself the stress of your hard-work being thwarted by music copyright complications later on. I’m guessing that the answer is no – which is about as much as I know after trying to find out over the last few months. Those companies are responsible for paying out all royalties to the publishers themselves. However, this is providing the use of the song falls under a certain set of conditions. I would. Find information about mechanical licencing here: PRS for Music: Retail Audio Products. This means that the owner of the song’s copyright has an obligation to give you a license. Great site to get a mechanical license and find those hard to reach music producers to get clearance on popular cover songs. "So, if you’re just going to release a cover song on YouTube but won’t be selling it, you don't need to obtain mechanical license. How to Start Producing Music at Home | Basics for Beginners. Does Soundcloud work the same way as youtube? Distributing recordings of cover songs on sound-only streaming platforms, like Spotify and iTunes will also require a mechanical licence. Our experts will get you licensed and ready for your release! The MLA is the standard agreement entered into between CMRRA and record labels doing business in Canada on an ongoing basis. Almost all copyright music in the UK will be registered with PRS for Music. Make sure you are set-up to receive performance royalties. For example, when your band plays "Smooth Criminal" (written by Michael Jackson). For example, selling CDs, as well as digital downloads. posting cover songs on Facebook could cause your video to be removed, songs whose writer died more than seventy years ago, live performances of cover songs are the responsibility of the venue, YouTube cover songs will likely be sorted by their Content ID system. However, some copyright owners object to unlicensed covers. However, you will need to acquire a Mechanical License for sales in North America. We’ll make sure your license never expires. This means that the license won’t cover music videos or videos of you performing the cover. History. The explosion of social media networks and music publishing platforms such as SoundCloud and YouTube has led to an increase in cover song licensing requests, and singers seeking permission to cover songs they plan on releasing. Mechanical License for the USA and Canada: Grants the licensee the right to reproduce an underlying composition for the purpose of phonographic sales (ie downloads, CDs, vinyl, etc.) You do not need permission to cover a song live. MECHANICAL LICENSE: The license to record and sell a cover song is called a mechanical license. And there’s a good reason why; some very large artists gained popularity and exposure by first publishing cover versions to get discovered. You will have to pay a royalty to the publisher (which ultimately goes to the writer of the song you've covered) on the amount you manufacture, not the amount you sell. How does that differ from recording covers on a CD or audio medium and is it easy and/or expensive to obtain. 3. Music copyright law is important for every singer and musician who want to know how to copyright a song. Learn how it works > Licensing Questions. On the Songfile website, they say the current cost for a mechanical license (e.g recording a cover song) is 9.1 cents per track. Clear cover songs now. All of this is awesome for music releases, but there are additional things to consider when releasing a song … Previously, this could cause your video to be taken-down and repeat offenders risked losing their account altogether. This allows the owner of the copyright to make a judgement based on the content of the new video. A mechanical license for cover songs gives you the right to reproduce and distribute a copyrighted song on a permanent digital download.*. You need a mechanical license if you are planning on recording a song whose rights are owned by a publisher. This is providing you have already declared the video as a YouTube cover song through the Content ID system. A mechanical license for cover songs gives you the right to reproduce and distribute a copyrighted song on a permanent digital download. I read somewhere Spotify pays for covers. You may have to find, contact and negotiate with the right's holder directly. While live performances of cover songs are the responsibility of the venue and YouTube cover songs will likely be sorted by their Content ID system (see above: Can I upload cover songs on YouTube? However, YouTube has recently changed how they operate. License your song. This applies to all songs published before 1922, as well as songs whose writer died more than seventy years ago (although, this rule only applies to music written since 1989). Nobody seems prepared to provide this information. To license a cover version, first find out the composers and publishers of your cover tune. Cover songs can help singers to build their audience but it may require licensing in certain situations. Spotify, Apple Music etc). Physical product and downloads: $0.091 (9.1 cents) per unit for songs that are five minutes and under in length or $0.0175 (1.75 cents) per minute or fraction thereof, … * *The mechanical license provided by Royalty Solutions only covers digital downloads. You may have to find, contact and negotiate with the right's holder directly. You can check if CSI cover a song license by searching either CMRRA’s or SODRAC’s repertoires. You will need an additional license if you choose to physically distribute your cover song. This is totally okay—DistroKid makes it easy and legal to sell cover songs. Do I need a licence to perform cover songs in a competition? However, it is safer to embed the YouTube video on Facebook rather than posting the video of the cover song on Facebook directly. COVER SONG A cover song is any new performance or recording of a song that was previously written, recorded, and released by someone else. DistroKid will obtain the required compulsory mechanical license for you. As a result, uploading cover songs to Facebook direct to their platform is not tolerated. A mechanical license is required for selling songs online or in physical format. Powered by the largest database of music compositions matched to sound recordings, HFA connects music users and rightsholders to get royalties to music creators. Planning on releasing a cover song? If you only plan on covering the song live at a gig, you won’t have any legal concerns. This is done by getting permission from the rightsholder and in the UK, this is through MCPS. In the UK, a mechanical licence is required in order for you to record and distribute physical copies of your cover song. If it is, you are free to release the cover as the store will organise that the correct mechanical royalty is paid to CSI. A mechanical license is an agreement between a music user and the owner of a copyrighted composition (song), that grants permission to release the song in an audio-only format (interactive audio streams, digital downloads, CDs, vinyl). ; I have no idea. Our artists are NOT on the hook for royalty payments on those kinds of streams. TIP: Master licenses can be a little trickier to obtain compared to Mechanical licenses. Company registered Office: Lumsden Avenue, Southampton SO15 5EL, https://www.openmicuk.co.uk/advice/do-you-need-a-licence-to-do-cover-songs/. A mechanical is any song recording, including vinyl, CDs, or digital downloads. Loudr and Easy Song Licensing are independent services that charge a small service fee (about $15 per song) to secure a mechanical license for any song that you’d like to cover. UK music copyright law protects the literary... Read more ». Information, see: how YouTube content ID Works provided by royalty only... 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