Is this is illegal


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Vivalaskater94
12-06-2007, 06:10 PM
I'm planning on starting a band. I was thinking just making a CD of 5 covers and selling it. Is it illegal?

hippyguitardude
12-06-2007, 06:14 PM
yes, unless you go through a bunch of **** to give the people money or something. i'd say as long as you stay fairly small-scale and give the writers credit, go for it. it's not like the copywrite ****s come to every city and buy some small band's first CD of covers to make sure they're not stealing songs.

Lemoninfluence
12-06-2007, 06:15 PM
I would say, yes. although I haven't done any copyright law yet.

You're using someone else's intellectual property and aren't paying them royalties.

If the bands you cover find out (or their labels/people owns the rights to the song) then they'll be able to sue you.

Fusanti_RHCP
12-06-2007, 06:17 PM
UG>Lawyers

craigmileham
12-06-2007, 06:21 PM
i remember tryin to put a cover song up on a local site, and they refused it because it was illegal, so im guessin the cd would be too

Peaceful Rocker
12-06-2007, 06:21 PM
unless you make your covers extremly original and tasty, nobodys going to like it/buy it

silent caution
12-06-2007, 06:22 PM
people do covers all the time, go for it

SRK
12-06-2007, 06:22 PM
yes it would be illegal to do that, but if it's only a small local band then you shouldn't have any trouble with the law

deportivo
12-06-2007, 06:22 PM
yeah, taking other people's stuff (in this case, songs) and selling it for your own profit usually tends to be illegal.

Coulterboyz
12-06-2007, 06:23 PM
Yes, its illegal. Unless you took a song like layla and made it an emo version, in which case it MAY be legal, but not sure what you have to do so a song becomes your intellectual property. At least if you did what I just described you would have a case. Although you would probably get pwned lol.

GuitarMunky
12-06-2007, 06:24 PM
I'm planning on starting a band. I was thinking just making a CD of 5 covers and selling it. Is it illegal?

Yup. But unless you make it big.... whos going to care? technically you need a license and have to pay royalties.

solution: write your own songs! =)

stephen_rettie
12-06-2007, 06:25 PM
Write your own stuff

Bubonic Chronic
12-06-2007, 06:30 PM
Yes, but here's a loophole:

Giving away CD's of covers free is a grey area. Technically illegal? Probably, but how are they going to prove it?

Give the CD's away as a promotional tool to get paid shows. ;)

It's also illegal to get paid to play covers, but if you get paid in cash, who cares? Say "I've never played any shows, I'm not even in a band!"

The thing about law suits is the burden of proof lies with the Plaintiff.

whitebluesboy
12-06-2007, 06:31 PM
As long as you aren't doing like extremely popular classic rock covers and having it professionally recorded or distributed I doubt anybody is going to give a ****

Missingno476
12-08-2007, 12:29 AM
I wouldn't think you'd have much trouble with the law, but it's best to just give them away in order to promote your gigs, and then get payed for the gigs. CDs that people bought=evidence, but they can't really prove you played a show and played covers at it w/ out going to a lot of trouble. And besides, nobody will buy a CD of all covers anyway unless you twist them all into different styles.

take_it_t
12-08-2007, 12:51 AM
Yes, its illegal. Unless you took a song like layla and made it an emo version, in which case it MAY be legal, but not sure what you have to do so a song becomes your intellectual property. At least if you did what I just described you would have a case. Although you would probably get pwned lol.

Nope that wouldn't make a difference, that would be the whole idea of a cover to take a song and turn it into your own version.

Technically you can't sell these without paying the proper royalties. But at the scale in which you would be working at, it may not effect you. But if you're worried or uncertain speak to a lawyer.

axemanchris
12-08-2007, 10:58 AM
Giving away CD's of covers free is a grey area. Technically illegal? Probably, but how are they going to prove it?

Yes, still technically illegal.



It's also illegal to get paid to play covers,

No it isn't. The venue pays a blanket royalty fee to ASCAP, BMI, SOCAN, whoever best represents the artist rights in the area. This blanket fee allows the venue to have bands come in and play covers. It also allows them to play the radio, CDs, etc. in their establishment. And yes.... it IS illegal to play CDs in a public place without paying performance royalties. Even radio stations pay these royalties to those organizations.

If you're a small-time band pressing a few CDs for friends, and those CDs have cover songs on them, you probably won't get caught. But if you do.... you are breaking the law, and you could be charged. The fines can be enormous - up to $250 000. It comes down to how willing you are to venture into that kind of possible trouble.

To do it legit... you go to a music Licencing institution. ex. Harry Fox agency (US), CMRRA (Canada). Check out their database. There are literally tens of thousands of songs - many MAJOR hits - that you can use - without specific permission from the artist. The way it works is you pay a small sum (typical would be in the neighbourhood of 7 cents per manufactured copy (note: NOT SOLD copy - so even if you give them all away, you still have to pay). There must be a minimum, but I'm not sure of that. The licencing agency sends most of that fee to the artist, keeping a %ge for themselves.

So, if you are a small local band and press 500 CDs, and wanted to put A cover song on it, it would cost you about $35. If you were getting the disks professionally duplicated, you would have to provide proof of paying the licence to use the songs, as they will refuse to do the job without it.

Chris

snot_foster25
12-08-2007, 11:15 PM
I would think, and this is based on nothing but my logic, that you would only run into a problem if you made a profit off of the covers. Following logic, if you're allowed to play covers live without paying any kind of royalty to the original recording artist, then logically, if you record that cover and publish it someplace WITHOUT SEEKING TO PROFIT FROM IT, that should be fine.

That may be exactly what a bunch of other people have said here, though.

Best bet would be to ask a lawyer, but that would probably cost more than it would be worth. Be the safest bet, though.

FrenchyFungus
12-08-2007, 11:20 PM
http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/columns/ask/ask_the_rock_n_roll_lawyer_iv.html

Ctrl + F for cover

axemanchris
12-09-2007, 01:24 PM
I would think, and this is based on nothing but my logic, that you would only run into a problem if you made a profit off of the covers. Following logic, if you're allowed to play covers live without paying any kind of royalty to the original recording artist, then logically, if you record that cover and publish it someplace WITHOUT SEEKING TO PROFIT FROM IT, that should be fine.

That may be exactly what a bunch of other people have said here, though.

Best bet would be to ask a lawyer, but that would probably cost more than it would be worth. Be the safest bet, though.

Although profiting from another's work intensifies the problem, the point is not profit. The point is USAGE. If I go over to your house and borrow your lawnmower without asking, you're still pissed off.... even if I don't make money from it. It's YOUR lawnmower after all. I should ask to use it.

Extend that to usage of a product that the artist uses to make money and has the rights to and it gets more touchy.

USAGE is why you have to pay the licencing fee for each copy MANUFACTURED. If profit was the point, then you would only have to pay for each copy sold. But it doesn't work that way.

Read the posts above about the difference between that and playing covers in a bar.

CT

orgasmickey
12-10-2007, 09:59 AM
thats cool man, you can just take my lawnmower. I trust you.