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#1
Hey,
I justed recorded an acoustic cover of Commando by the Ramones, and I want to post it on my MySpace music profile...
The only thing is, I'm not sure whether or not it's legal to do that...they've got a bit long policy thing about copyrighted material and stuff, but I can't tell what the crap they're talking about...and I'm not trying to make profit off of the recording or anything, I just wanna put it up there...
So, is this legal, or will I get sued???? Any help is appreciated...

Cheers...

BTW, I wasn't sure which forum to put this in, so I picked this one...meh...the mods can move it, I don't care...
#2
Yea, I'm pretty sure it's legal as long as you don't just post the original recording of it and claim it as your own.
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#3
Ridicule. Do you obviously believe that they have time to sort billions of uncopyrighted files? I host copyrighted music to play on my page all the time. You can certainly post covers. And you definately wont get sued. The Ramones made several covers themselves.
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#5
tecnically, in the us anywys, i think its illegal to do it but im not sure
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#6
Who cares, even if some fbi agent guy saw it he wouldnt exactly be in a rush to delete it and put you in handcuffs...lmfao. They have bigger things to worry about like national security, terrorism, and the iraq war, rather than some little garage band putting up a recording of a cover song. Lmao. Of all the things to worry about man, jeez...

Bands cover songs all the time, and half the time they don't even ask the original bands permission
Last edited by OpposingForce at Aug 14, 2006,
#7
Its not illegal, well youre supposed to pay royalties, but since you arent making any money from it they cant claim damages or anything.
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#8
the only time it would become illegal would be if you were selling it on a cd and making money off of it without whoevers permission.. why would myspace be any different than say Dmusic? use your head
#10
It depends wether you make a lot of covers and want to share them with the world. If so its deffinetly somthing you should sign up for.
#11
no its not illegal, thats all he wanted to hear hahaha
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#12
you might want to say who the band is that you are covering on your page. i hope you knew that already
#13
It's not illegal to cover, record a cover, perform a cover, or post a cover. it is illegal to make money off of it. so unless you or someone else who shouldn't is making money off of it, you're good.
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#15
Actually it is illegal. Whether or not the song can be downloaded or if you make any money on it is irrelevant. In order to legally play copyrighted music you must have the consent of the copyright holder (usually the record company). A performance licence is payed for by venues which host live music that includes cover songs. Myspace specifically prohibits the uploading of copyrighted material. You can be subject to both civil and criminal charges. Practically speaking the worst thing that's likely to happen is you'd lose your Myspace account.

With YouTube this is sort of a gray area. Google, the parent company of YouTube has negotiated royalty payments with most of the organizations world wide which oversee copyright enforcement. Technically you still need permission but the way it works is YouTube monitors content and only pulls material when requested by the copyright holder. Unless you do something "objectionable" it's in the copyright holders own interest to have the material viewed since they get paid for it.

http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/licensecovers.html

http://cdbaby.net/dd?f=8
#16
I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding,but according to that first link,its says:

"There are three major organizations that handle the right to perform a composition (song) in public (and yes, that includes playing it on the radio, Internet or otherwise)."

I'm pretty sure all the bands that play covers at school talent shows,etc.,do not have one of those licenses. I'm not sure if that was the case,school's wouldn't allow it.
#17
Alden Sloe is absolutely right. I was getting really frightened by the misinformation in this thread until I read that.

Whether you make a profit from it or not, you DO need to pay a licencing fee to the appropriate licensing agency (Harry Fox, CMRRA, etc.) for every copy you MAKE. (note: not sell)

@greenkitty - Those performing rights associations - BMI, SOCAN, etc. - are in charge of collecting royalties payable for public performances of your material. (as long as you have your material registered with them) Yes, that includes commercial radio and TV, dance clubs, shopping malls, grocery stores, pubs, etc. - and yes, even schools.

What happens is these venues (yes, even shoe stores who play the radio in the background, school boards, etc. ) pay an annual blanket licence fee which allows them to have performances (and the playing of a recording is considered a performance) of copyrighted material.

So, in short, the bands don't worry about it. The venue does. In the case of the school talent show, that falls under the jurisdiction of the school boards blanket licence paid to their country's performing rights organization.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

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#18
Oh okay,thanks Chris. That makes alot more sence. About how much is the fee?
#19
The fee varies from place to place and depends on the size of the venue and what they host. Can be as little as about $12/yr, by the looks of things (ie. a small establishment having the radio on), and can go up considerably from there.

http://www.socan.ca/jsp/en/resources/tariffs.jsp

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#20
Quote by Alden_Sloe
Actually it is illegal. Whether or not the song can be downloaded or if you make any money on it is irrelevant. In order to legally play copyrighted music you must have the consent of the copyright holder (usually the record company). A performance licence is payed for by venues which host live music that includes cover songs. Myspace specifically prohibits the uploading of copyrighted material. You can be subject to both civil and criminal charges. Practically speaking the worst thing that's likely to happen is you'd lose your Myspace account.

With YouTube this is sort of a gray area. Google, the parent company of YouTube has negotiated royalty payments with most of the organizations world wide which oversee copyright enforcement. Technically you still need permission but the way it works is YouTube monitors content and only pulls material when requested by the copyright holder. Unless you do something "objectionable" it's in the copyright holders own interest to have the material viewed since they get paid for it.

http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/licensecovers.html

http://cdbaby.net/dd?f=8


nvm
#22
Quote by Surfside
Ridicule. Do you obviously believe that they have time to sort billions of uncopyrighted files? I host copyrighted music to play on my page all the time. You can certainly post covers. And you definately wont get sued. The Ramones made several covers themselves.

I dont think you know how to use that word.
Ridicule for you.
#24
Quote by a7xrocks02
Dammit!!! Be nice to the poor TS!!!

And it shouldn't be a problem, your not making any bucks on it.


Well,it is a problem according to the links provided. The question is: Will he get caught? *Dun Dun Dun!!!*
#25
It's one of those things that yes, it is clearly illegal. The consequence *could* be major fines - as in up to $250 000 or something.

Realistically, you will *probably* get away with it. You're not selling them, and you're not even allowing others to download (you're not, are you?), so all they can do is listen. Nobody is being deprived of any real income, and you are not commercially benefiting from the venture as a result of exploiting the other artist's work. In the *spirit* of the law, you're not really doing anything wrong, IMHO. But the law, being what it is, could be interpreted such that you *could* get royally screwed.

As strongly opinionated as I am about intellectual property, I have a couple of covers on my profile here. I rationalize it the same way I outlined above.

If you were to make one and only one copy of a song (ie. not available for download... just the one copy), it would cost more in paperwork than it would be worth for anyone, given the rate of about 7.5 cents per copy made. The technical right thing to do would be to fill out the forms and send them in along with a cheque for $0.08.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#26
Quote by Alden_Sloe
Actually it is illegal. Whether or not the song can be downloaded or if you make any money on it is irrelevant. In order to legally play copyrighted music you must have the consent of the copyright holder (usually the record company). A performance licence is payed for by venues which host live music that includes cover songs. Myspace specifically prohibits the uploading of copyrighted material. You can be subject to both civil and criminal charges. Practically speaking the worst thing that's likely to happen is you'd lose your Myspace account.

With YouTube this is sort of a gray area. Google, the parent company of YouTube has negotiated royalty payments with most of the organizations world wide which oversee copyright enforcement. Technically you still need permission but the way it works is YouTube monitors content and only pulls material when requested by the copyright holder. Unless you do something "objectionable" it's in the copyright holders own interest to have the material viewed since they get paid for it.

http://www.boutell.com/newfaq/creating/licensecovers.html

http://cdbaby.net/dd?f=8


If I remember correctly, you don't actually have to have the permission to do it. As long as you pay the royalties, their hands are tied. However, what you're describing is similar to the laws regarding sampling, which is a whole other can of worms.

EDIT: From your CD Baby link:

"If you record a cover version of a song, (meaning your performance of a song that has been released in the U.S. with consent of the copyright owner), you are entitled by law to release your recording commercially, and the owner of the copyright to the song cannot prevent you from doing so."

Yes, there are steps you have to take. But I'd hardly call it getting "permission", for they cannot actually deny you.
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Last edited by Black Star at Jan 1, 2009,
#27
You caught him on a technicality, but that is entirely true.

By the time you pay the licensing fee, and the licensing agency sends a cheque to the artist, you've probably already recorded the song and released it.

However... there are exceptions. An artist doesn't have to provide licensing rights to a licensing agency. If you want to cover a song NOT listed in the Harry Fox or CMRRA database (or similar), you then have to do some legwork and find out who has the publishing rights. You then have to contact that person/agency/organization and ask if you can get a license to record your own version. Some artists chose that route for exactly that reason.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#28
As long as you don't make money from it, it's fine, so you can't sell the recording or put it on cds.
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#29
[quote="'[= Tom ="]']As long as you don't make money from it, it's fine,

Whether you make money off it or not doesn't make a lick of difference. The licensing fee is for every copy you (or somebody else) MAKE.

[quote="'[= Tom ="]']
so you can't sell the recording or put it on cds.

Even if you put it on a single CD, you've broken the law if you've not paid for it.

An interesting point of discussion could be "at what point have you made a copy?" A copyright nazi would probably say that you have made a copy as soon as you have a recognizable version of the song that exists anywhere in any form. For practical purposes, fair use *might* allow you to make a copy that just sits on your hard drive as a personal exercise in developing playing skills, singing skills, arranging skills or recording skills. If it was just sitting on your hard drive and nowhere else, and your computer is not networked such that only YOU have access to this ONE copy, then you're probably fine. Would it not be an original recording of your own that you made of someone else's song? One which you have not made any copies of? I dunno.

As soon as you have uploaded it to someone's server, though, you are much more clearly breaking the law. You have clearly made a copy. There is now one on your computer and one on someone else's. If it is a service that only allows streaming, then you can still argue that you've only made one copy. But you have made it available to the public. You're clearly venturing out of the fair use parameters of copyright laws, I would think.

But.... with RealPlayer11, you can actually download streaming media. Others can now make copies. Do you have any way in the world of knowing how many copies exist out there? Nope.

And then, if you make it readily available for download, you are really heading into territory that clearly goes against copyright law.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#30
It's non-profit so the issue of royalties doesnt come into it

Im sure that its technically illegal, but no1 is going come kicking down your door because of it.
Worst situation is that myspace pulls the song (unlikely)

In my opinion, go for it son
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#31
Quote by Zacothewacko
It's non-profit so the issue of royalties doesnt come into it


Care to cite a source?

If you want to use someone else's material - for profit or otherwise - you HAVE to pay to use it. It's that simple.

http://www.cmrra.ca/cmrradocs/mlbe06.pdf explains mechanical licensing. Note that it says "for every copy made." Also note that there is no discussion on whether or not the person seeking the mechanical license profits from it directly or not.

Here is another source: http://www.harryfox.com/public/mechanicalLicense.jsp

It specifically says, "whether you are selling the product or not." The Harry Fox agency is the US equivalent of the CMRRA which oversees music licensing for literally tens of thousands of songs and artists.

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#32
Quote by gogosega
David Taub has a RATM cover. It seems legal to me. You're not making money with it.


As has already been said multiple times in this thread, it does not matter whether you are making money with it or not. Technically, it is illegal to do, assuming you're not paying royalties. However, I doubt they're going to come track you down for it. It's up to you whether to take that chance.
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Jesus was all like "To those about to rock, I salute you." then he grabbed his mighty axe and rocked the Romans out really hard. Of course they were strict classical music so....
#33
Thanks, Black Star.

Yeah, I love it when I cite industry sources directly and then the very next post is just some random guess at something that is completely opposite of the cited sources. :roll

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#34
Caught this in a google search, so I apologize for the necro. There is a lot of incorrect info here.

Doing a cover on a recording or live (these are two seperate copyright issues)without licensing the tune is indeed, completely illegal. Regardless of whether money is made or not. You can get away with doing things live at bars and such as most bars pay fees that allow certain songs to be performed. Those that don't, are getting caught.

To the smart guy that said the FBI has other things to worry about... The entire FBI is not focused on terrorism and such. There are many different departments that do many different things. One of them happens to be copyright infringement and intellectual property rights. If the owner of the intellectual property decides to place a phone call and report you, you will receive a visit from the FBI. They have to investigate it. You will be fined and/or jailed. Additionally, the copyright holder has the right to bring a civil suit against you in addition to the criminal suit the Federal Government will bring on you. I have done this, so I speak from personal experience.

Be careful what you put on the internet. In a bar setting, it is the responsibility of the venue so you are pretty safe.
#35
So, did Metallica have to pay royalties to all of the bands covered in garage inc.?

Sorry if anyone already asked/answered this Q, im writing this with my phone so it gets frustrating reading all the messages.
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#36
So, did Metallica have to pay royalties to all of the bands covered in garage inc.?


Yeah, but c'mon, it's Metallica. They'll have gotten their record label to do it, and might not even have thought about it. Playing covers live is so common that people don't realise that someone needs to pay for it to happen (the venue).

axemanchris is, as far as I can tell, 100% correct. While you are unlikely to get in trouble for it, it is illegal to record a cover of another's song (that is, the things which constitute the song in legal terms, the melody and the words, before someone says that acoustic covers and the like are OK) and then go on to make this publicly accessible.

People forget, in the modern era of artists writing their own songs and performing covers only as a tribute to a particular band, that when the laws were created most people played the same standards. The person who wrote those wanted to earn some money for it - that was probably their job, to be a composer. So the law works to protect that sort of person. It's not all that long ago that people didn't have the opportunity to go and check out the original version of a song too easily, and so a cover could actually hurt the writer of a song if it sold a lot.
#37
Quote by axemanchris

If you were to make one and only one copy of a song (ie. not available for download... just the one copy), it would cost more in paperwork than it would be worth for anyone, given the rate of about 7.5 cents per copy made. The technical right thing to do would be to fill out the forms and send them in along with a cheque for $0.08.

CT


In light of this thread getting resurrected with (thank God) some intelligent discussion, I was reading backwards a bit and thought it prudent to correct myself here.

In the above quoted case, you would not (COULD NOT) send in a cheque for $0.08. There is a minimum fee, so you would have to pay for a minimum of, I think 500 or 1000 copies. The CMRRA website isn't behaving at the moment, but you can check it out at:

http://www.cmrra.ca/Mechanical_Licensing/mechanical_licensing.html

CT
Could I get some more talent in the monitors, please?

I know it sounds crazy, but try to learn to inhale your voice. www.thebelcantotechnique.com

Chris is the king of relating music things to other objects in real life.
#38
As interesting as this detailed technical discussion is, let's filter this mire of information through common sense and apply it to the real world, eh?

It's not strictly legal (quasi-legal, maybe) - but there's really no problem in doing it. Just about every band on Myspace has a few covers up there at some point, so really don't worry about it.
#39
so then everyone who uploads covers to their UG profiles are commiting crimes?


on another note, say I make a cover, but change it to make it different from the original song (i.e. the enjoy the silence cover on my profile). does that count as a cover? because TECHNICALLY it's not the same song, but rather based on that song.
#40
Quote by CoreysMonster
so then everyone who uploads covers to their UG profiles are commiting crimes?
Yeah but I think because UG is based in Russia the RIAA won't touch it for fear of a case of 'In soviety Russia copyright law breakers take you to civil court'

Seriously we're all bad bad people
.
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