Vivalaskater94
UG Newbie
Join date: Jul 2007
387 IQ
#1
I'm planning on starting a band. I was thinking just making a CD of 5 covers and selling it. Is it illegal?
hippyguitardude
UG Member
Join date: Sep 2006
683 IQ
#2
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.
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Lemoninfluence
Masculist
Join date: Mar 2006
1,223 IQ
#3
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.
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craigmileham
The Voice
Join date: Dec 2003
63 IQ
#5
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
Banned
Join date: Nov 2005
1,518 IQ
#6
unless you make your covers extremly original and tasty, nobodys going to like it/buy it
silent caution
UG Newbie
Join date: Apr 2006
1,407 IQ
#7
people do covers all the time, go for it
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SRK
Registered User
Join date: Jul 2007
22 IQ
#8
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
.d -_- b.
Join date: Jun 2003
193 IQ
#9
yeah, taking other people's stuff (in this case, songs) and selling it for your own profit usually tends to be illegal.
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Coulterboyz
UG Newbie
Join date: Nov 2007
32 IQ
#10
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
I play guitar n stuff
Join date: May 2007
115 IQ
#11
Quote by Vivalaskater94
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! =)
shred is gaudy music
Bubonic Chronic
Your bucket 'o love
Join date: Aug 2002
1,115 IQ
#13
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.
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Missingno476
Ecclecticist
Join date: Oct 2007
331 IQ
#15
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.
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take_it_t
Music Addict
Join date: Mar 2005
818 IQ
#16
Quote by Coulterboyz
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
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#17
Quote by Bubonic Chronic

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.

Quote by Bubonic Chronic


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
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snot_foster25
Registered User
Join date: Nov 2006
603 IQ
#18
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.
axemanchris
Awwww.... NOW what?!
Join date: Aug 2006
2,471 IQ
#20
Quote by snot_foster25
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
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.
orgasmickey
My name is Myc
Join date: Aug 2007
230 IQ
#21
thats cool man, you can just take my lawnmower. I trust you.
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