#1
Hello Pit. My band is going to record an album soon of all cover songs. Mostly Classic Rock and old Heavy Metal. I'm worried about copyright issues. We are going to record in a studio, but if we are planning on selling them, do we need to obtain the rights? If we dont sell any though, is it legal?

If anyone has any insight or experience, ti would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
#2
If you are planning to make money out of them you need to obtain the rights I believe.
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#4
i'm pretty sure it's illegal to MAKE MONEY from them but not to record and give away or preform them live.
#5
Does this apply to jazz standards as well? I suppose it would unless they're in the public domain, but would be good to know for sure.
#6
If you sell it, you have to get the rights for it to be legal.
If you aren't selling, there's a bit of a grey area....I know for DOWNLOADS (even when free) you have to obtain the rights, but idk if you just hand out cds what the legality is.
#7
This is completely out of curiosity, and not something I really plan to do, but what if I had a "pay what you want" system?

Like, for instance, I make a bunch of Youtube videos of me playing covers, and at the end of each video I advertise a website that had a link for donating me money. I thought of that a long time ago and I've yet to find out how legal it would be.

I'm assuming I'd still get sued, but I'm technically not selling anything or giving out downloads.
#8
Quote by Darkness in Zero
If you sell it, you have to get the rights for it to be legal.
If you aren't selling, there's a bit of a grey area....I know for DOWNLOADS (even when free) you have to obtain the rights, but idk if you just hand out cds what the legality is.



I haven't had a problem with anyone downloading my acoustic covers, nor have we had a problem with anyone downloading the acoustic covers album from the community.
#10
Quote by Shawn1379
This is completely out of curiosity, and not something I really plan to do, but what if I had a "pay what you want" system?

Like, for instance, I make a bunch of Youtube videos of me playing covers, and at the end of each video I advertise a website that had a link for donating me money. I thought of that a long time ago and I've yet to find out how legal it would be.

I'm assuming I'd still get sued, but I'm technically not selling anything or giving out downloads.

If they're just donating generally, not to a particular song, I don't see it being an issue.

But if you're marketing it as an album and doing a "pay what you want" system, I see that as an issue.
#11
What if we aren't selling the albums through a business. What if we are just selling them ourselves independently after shows? Do you think that is legal?
#12
Quote by toothless tim
What if we aren't selling the albums through a business. What if we are just selling them ourselves independently after shows? Do you think that is legal?

it's still selling right? I think it wouldn't be legal but at that small extent I think nobody would care :P
#13
Quote by toothless tim
What if we aren't selling the albums through a business. What if we are just selling them ourselves independently after shows? Do you think that is legal?

Still illegal.

And I believe that if you perform the songs in a public capacity wherein many people are present, the venue you play is expected to pay royalties to the ASCAP (or to some other appropriate people), or else that's also illegal; if not, you should be paying royalties yourself. Those sorts of things are really strict.
#14
We do have a Metallica cover in mind, isn't Metallica really anal about legal issues and royalties? But we are doing this mostly for fun, and just to play in venues on our college campus and around town, just small places. I think since we are so small, its ok to sell them for like $5 or something. We are doing it for fun, not for a living.

Do you guys know of any cases were small bands like us get screwed with legal issues? I think we are ok because we are so small we will just be flying under the radar.
#15
Who cares, it's not like the bands you're covering are going to find out anyway.
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#16
I know, I dont think anyone will ever find out, or even care cause we are so small. But I'm paranoid a random lawyer will be at a show and want to cash in by suing us.... that would be my nightmare.
#18
I watched the video. Still dont get it. It explains the music industry, but not my situation. Im still a little confused.
#19
Well, basically as long as you show that the bands who originally wrote the song hold the copyright to that song, you should be able to cover them and own the rights to that recording.
#20
Oh, so like when in YOUTUBE covers, in the description, some people have a disclaimer thats says something like " I do not own the rights to this music" or something.

So if we make an album, we should have something similar to that?
#21
Yeah, definitely say on the back that whatever bands played the song originally own that copyright.

I think that should cover you.
#22
Quote by L2112Lif
I haven't had a problem with anyone downloading my acoustic covers, nor have we had a problem with anyone downloading the acoustic covers album from the community.

I mean, unless it's a big deal, no one will sue you. it's not like the people doing guitar covers on youtube are getting sued, cuz it really isn't that big of a deal to the record labels, and by the time they pay the court fees and such, it isn't really worth it...but according to my music buisness class from Friday when we started talking about copyrights, any online download you are technically supposed to obtain the rights first...it's just that no one is gonna hunt you down about it unless you get millions and millions of hits lol
#25
if it is not your song then you must obtain permission. Will you get caught if you do cover someones stuff on your CD? probably not and if you do get caught you will most likely get a cease and desist order. That being said you could be sued and you could get pulled into court. The percentages will vary depending on the song you cover and the pressing of your CD. if you do a metallica song and press 3000 CDs it might get noticed. If you do a canned heat cover and you press 50 CDs probably not. Law of averages.
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#28
This website is built to clear cover songs for bands (give mechanical licenses, etc)
http://www.songclearance.com/faq/
Theres the faq. read, it may help. But generally you have to clear a cover song with the right holders before being able to record and distribute it, playing cover songs live is a whole different boat of rules that nobody seems to follow anyway.

But if you're gonna sell those cover songs it may be worth your time to loook at that site or google the Harry Fox Agency.
#29
Quote by chaoticfables






Sorry mate, try again.



Ohh.. Sorry didn't realize this guy was a member of a band with an international following of tens of millions of people and already had a back catalog of hundreds of songs. I thought he was some guy in a garage band who doesn't understand copyright laws.

You totally proved me wrong. I can't wait to read the review of this album in Rolling Stone when it comes out.

Try again? Tard.
Last edited by MonkeysHamlet at Oct 24, 2011,
#30
Quote by MonkeysHamlet
Ohh.. Sorry didn't realize this guy was a member of a band with an international following of tens of millions of people and already had a back catalog of hundreds of songs. I thought he was some guy in a garage band who doesn't understand copyright laws.

You totally proved me wrong. I can't wait to read the review of this album in Rolling Stone when it comes out.

Try again? Tard.

+1. No one's going to buy a cover album for an unknown band. The only good thing about a cover album is you could hand it out to clubs and whatever to book gigs.
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