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Are cover songs a breach of copyright?





hack_man_
I have a little pondering... concerning "You're All I have" by Snow Patrol

I am using my common sense to work out that using the real song in the intro/as the theme song for my upcoming Sims 2 TV Series (You will find out more soon enough) is illegal... and will result in my brutal ass-kicking in court...

But would getting some good friends to make a cover version of the song without Snow Patrol's permission be illegal?

... and would using that in my series be illegal?

Wikipedia is too thinly spread... but from what I can deduce... It would be classed as a Parody, and thus legal as a Derivative Work. (I hope I spelt that right)

Just in case this is a factor... It will be broadcast on the internet...
mathiaus
hack_man_ wrote:
But would getting some good friends to make a cover version of the song without Snow Patrol's permission be illegal?

... and would using that in my series be illegal?

The lyrics are still copyright though Neutral


hack_man_ wrote:
Wikipedia is too thinly spread... but from what I can deduce... It would be classed as a Parody, and thus legal as a Derivative Work. (I hope I spelt that right)

Really for it to be classed as a parody, you'd change the lyrics and generally take the mick out of them.
Quote:
In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on...
hack_man_
mathiaus wrote:
hack_man_ wrote:
But would getting some good friends to make a cover version of the song without Snow Patrol's permission be illegal?

... and would using that in my series be illegal?

The lyrics are still copyright though Neutral


hack_man_ wrote:
Wikipedia is too thinly spread... but from what I can deduce... It would be classed as a Parody, and thus legal as a Derivative Work. (I hope I spelt that right)

Really for it to be classed as a parody, you'd change the lyrics and generally take the mick out of them.
Quote:
In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on...


So... it looks like I am up creek, as it were... Any other ideas??? The song fits perfectly! I am desperate!
regards
Hack_man, although the song fit perfectly, it is still protected by copyright. You can either think of
1. use another song without copyright
2. write your own song
3. buy their copyright
I'm afraid that it is not a good choice to use the song without prior permission, as it is very risky. It can cause you a large sum of money and time in case they bring this up in court. Copyright sucks, right?

Wink Regards
P.S copyright (i.e. copy is right!)
ReubenWilliams
hack_man_ wrote:
mathiaus wrote:
hack_man_ wrote:
But would getting some good friends to make a cover version of the song without Snow Patrol's permission be illegal?

... and would using that in my series be illegal?

The lyrics are still copyright though Neutral


hack_man_ wrote:
Wikipedia is too thinly spread... but from what I can deduce... It would be classed as a Parody, and thus legal as a Derivative Work. (I hope I spelt that right)

Really for it to be classed as a parody, you'd change the lyrics and generally take the mick out of them.
Quote:
In contemporary usage, a parody is a work that imitates another work in order to ridicule, ironically comment on...


So... it looks like I am up creek, as it were... Any other ideas??? The song fits perfectly! I am desperate!




one may be able to contact them. a handwritten letter is always effective because people so rarely do it, If the band agree to give you permission to cover their song then you are on to a winner. Otherwise simply make sure everything is anonymous.
mstreet
Yes you do need to get permission to use the lyrics. You even need to get permission to use exact melodies and beats. I remember I think it was Jennifer Lopez with Jenny on the Block she got in trouble for ripping off the beats/music for that song from another group.
Traveller
Considering the amount of money that groups can make from the additional exposure in shows, movies, games, ring tones, etc., you should have no trouble contacting a representative of the group to request permission.

According to their website:
Quote:
If you have any queries or need to get in contact with the band or management you can do so by emailing us at info@snowpatrol.com
(Source: http://www.snowpatrol.com/contact/)

It's certainly worth a try.
coolclay
How do cover bans get away with playing other bands songs and making money off them. I have been to many concerts/bars with cover bands and some don't have any originals at all.
mathiaus
coolclay wrote:
How do cover bans get away with playing other bands songs and making money off them. I have been to many concerts/bars with cover bands and some don't have any originals at all.

They pay either a certain amount or a share of their profits to be able to use them.
HoboPelican
Just a thought....we've got a lot of talented folk right here on Frihost. Have a contest for the best lyrics/tune. Just tell us what you want the lyrics to be like and see what you get.
HDirtwater
Any music written in the last 50 or so years is probably registered, and thus copyrighted by one of two organizations; BMI or ASCAP. You actually do not need to have the artists' permission or blessing at all in order to perform, cover, record, or otherwise use - BUT - you must pay BMI or ASCAP for the rights to do so.

Example: a hip-hop artist wants to use a Paul Simon tune to be sampled under his own lyrics. He can ask Simon and pay a negotiated price to use the music, or he can just pay the rate set forth by ASCAP (who I think Simon uses). Getting the original artist's permission is usually much much cheaper, but isn't at all necessary.

Either way, you need to have someone's permission before you can record or perform (in public for money) any particular song.
gh0stface
My roommate who is a real estate attorney who has a fairly good background in copyright law(he interned for SONY in LA in the legal department) just told me that doing a cover on a song is NOT copyright infringement. However if you use certain portion, say just 3 seconds of a music sheet or lyrics and try to pass it off your own it IS copyright infringement.

He said the reason it's not technically copyright infringement is that you're performing it in your certain way. Your take. That is why bands are able to do live covers and record cover songs.

***Edit***
After googling this type of information, I came up with a few links that have fairly interesting reads regarding cover songs:
http://www.cleverjoe.com/articles/music_copyright_law.html
http://www.beatnikturtle.com/index.php?id=543
http://publishing.wsu.edu/copyright/music_copyright/
***End Edit***
hack_man_
gh0stface wrote:
My roommate who is a real estate attorney who has a fairly good background in copyright law(he interned for SONY in LA in the legal department) just told me that doing a cover on a song is NOT copyright infringement. However if you use certain portion, say just 3 seconds of a music sheet or lyrics and try to pass it off your own it IS copyright infringement.

He said the reason it's not technically copyright infringement is that you're performing it in your certain way. Your take. That is why bands are able to do live covers and record cover songs.

***Edit***
After googling this type of information, I came up with a few links that have fairly interesting reads regarding cover songs:
http://www.cleverjoe.com/articles/music_copyright_law.html
http://www.beatnikturtle.com/index.php?id=543
http://publishing.wsu.edu/copyright/music_copyright/
***End Edit***

Traveller wrote:
Considering the amount of money that groups can make from the additional exposure in shows, movies, games, ring tones, etc., you should have no trouble contacting a representative of the group to request permission.

According to their website:
Quote:
If you have any queries or need to get in contact with the band or management you can do so by emailing us at info@snowpatrol.com
(Source: http://www.snowpatrol.com/contact/)

It's certainly worth a try.

HoboPelican wrote:
Just a thought....we've got a lot of talented folk right here on Frihost. Have a contest for the best lyrics/tune. Just tell us what you want the lyrics to be like and see what you get.


Wow! Thanks! I love these ideas! I will probably need to organise something here to get voices for my characters and to get some jingles...
i.e. They don't just use I'll Be There For You in Friends, they have jingles during cuts and fades and before and after breaks.

@gh0stface Tell your firiend that I am extremely grateful for his help. I would be giving Snow Patrol full credit, not taking the credit for my self... Even if I got someone to do a cover, I would give them credit and Snow Patrol for the music/lyrics. I will still send them a message to get confirmation first though... :p

So as long as I give them full credit for the song and do not maim or modify it in any way... It is alright?
gh0stface
hack_man_ wrote:

So as long as I give them full credit for the song and do not maim or modify it in any way... It is alright?

You should be fine when doing a cover. When I meant by taking and using say 3 seconds of the lyrics or beats of the song and passing it off as your own, I mean using it on a CD recording and trying to pass it off as your own. I don't know if you were old enough to remember this, but there was a lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for using similar beats by uh I forgot the band that created the song Underpressure. I think it twas U2.
HDirtwater
Quote:
but there was a lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for using similar beats by uh I forgot the band that created the song Underpressure. I think it twas U2.


David Bowie I think.... Question

At issue wasn't that he couldn't use the beat (plain as the nose on my face that he did), but that he didn't pay BMI or ASCAP to do it. He just did it. He isn't even required to ask, but he does have to pay.

More than being sued, does anyone want to go through a musical career being known as "that guy who stole so-and-so's song?" I know I wouldn't. As for covering songs, it is certainly different than trying to claim a song as one's own on a recording.

On a side note, most popular classical music is not under any copyright protection at all. I could literally write Beethoven's 5th symphony and say I wrote it myself and nobody could do a thing about it. Of course, everyone would know, but.... Wink
standready
coolclay wrote:
How do cover bans get away with playing other bands songs and making money off them. I have been to many concerts/bars with cover bands and some don't have any originals at all.

Bars and other places along with the band (even radio stations) pay royalities to BMI and/or ASCAP who distribute collected money to song writers (note: I did not say preforming artist) based on a rather complex formula.

@ hack_man_: Contact the song writer! Lay out what you are doing and ask permission to use the song. Inform that you are listing in the show's credits. If the writer does not give you WRITTEN permission, ask for a reduce royalty payment. There is also consideration that must be made to the performing artist (if you use their version).
Here is an example of what would happen if you used any of my material without permission. First, you would be requsted to stop and a public apology made. If that was not done immediately, yes, you would receive a butal ass-kicking in court along with in all news outlets to insure you never got the opportunity to make that mistake again.
Most people don't realize that some of us support ourself and family with this type of work.
Vrythramax
HoboPelican wrote:
Just a thought....we've got a lot of talented folk right here on Frihost. Have a contest for the best lyrics/tune. Just tell us what you want the lyrics to be like and see what you get.


Can I get in on this? I have written many original lyrics (see http://kenshi.frihost net, and you may also want to talk to Thornsofsorrow....she is also a singer of great talent...not to mention a fantastic artist.. and a good friend.
Jaan
Search on YouTube for snow patrol... cover's aren't illegal - many of those have been on youtube for over a year! I would seriously not worry about getting sued unless you plan on going mainstrream like TV.

Good luck.
missdixy
Covers are definitely legal. I also suggest you try YouTube.

Also, I love your banner.

I wonder, are you also a member of that guilt on GaiaOnline?

I am....it was a bit odd to see that banner on this forum!
HoboPelican
gh0stface wrote:
hack_man_ wrote:

So as long as I give them full credit for the song and do not maim or modify it in any way... It is alright?

You should be fine when doing a cover.


I looked at one of the links you gave(publishing.wsu.edu) and saw this.

Quote:
Playing Music in Public. The right to perform or play a song in public is one of the exclusive rights of the copyright holder. You will need to get permission or a license if you play music in public unless the music is in the Public Domain or the use of the music qualifies as fair use. But the line between what is private and what is public is complicated


Doesn't this seem to imply that performing a cover would require permission?
It goes into discussion about what is public, but I would think that anything on the internet is gonna be considered public.
Insanity
Illegal or not, I don't think anyone is going to come after you if you do; there are numerous cover versions that are uncredited and such and nothing has happened to them yet. I'm not saying that it would be right, just being realistic.
Kaisonic
Well, if you're not going to make money directly off of whatever you use the song in, it's generally okay to use copyrighted music. Making a cover version is even better though.
gh0stface
HoboPelican wrote:

Doesn't this seem to imply that performing a cover would require permission?
It goes into discussion about what is public, but I would think that anything on the internet is gonna be considered public.

That's the thing with law, it's always up to interpretation. Which makes this a tricky subject. As pictures and media released on to the internet can be subjected to the fair use law... so... I don't know. I'm no attorney so I couldn't really give you a straight answer.

I could probably try and get a straight answer out of my roommate, but he would probably have to bill me for it Wink
hack_man_
Vrythramax wrote:
HoboPelican wrote:
Just a thought....we've got a lot of talented folk right here on Frihost. Have a contest for the best lyrics/tune. Just tell us what you want the lyrics to be like and see what you get.

Can I get in on this? I have written many original lyrics (see http://kenshi.frihost net, and you may also want to talk to Thornsofsorrow....she is also a singer of great talent...not to mention a fantastic artist.. and a good friend.

I will probably have to get more people in on it... If making a cover is completely legal, that is what I will end up doing... Thankfully, I know quite a few bands (The Forgotten Men & Joseph and the Dicks :p), not to mention all the people here!
Jaan wrote:
Search on YouTube for snow patrol... cover's aren't illegal - many of those have been on youtube for over a year! I would seriously not worry about getting sued unless you plan on going mainstrream like TV.

Given the sorts of stuff on YouTube, I would never use that for legal guidance or use it in court... Razz
Kaisonic wrote:
Well, if you're not going to make money directly off of whatever you use the song in, it's generally okay to use copyrighted music. Making a cover version is even better though.

That is wat I will do, just to be on the safe side...
gh0stface wrote:
I could probably try and get a straight answer out of my roommate, but he would probably have to bill me for it Wink

Don't worry, lawyers are like that... :p (Don't tell him I said that)
BTW, the main guy in Joseph and the Dicks is called Joseph Dick...
missdixy wrote:
Also, I love your banner.
I wonder, are you also a member of that guilt on GaiaOnline?
I am....it was a bit odd to see that banner on this forum!

1. Thank you
2. No
3. That's because I found it on Google...
Vrythramax
ok...I understand the copyright laws, but WTF did this post have to do with anything?


You want understanding...speak to an artist. I have a favorite in mind, and she will talk circles around you.
hack_man_
Vrythramax wrote:
You want understanding...

Well don't worry! I have understanding now...

I have a band in mind... I will ask them if they could make a cover...
Vrythramax
hack_man_ wrote:
Vrythramax wrote:
You want understanding...

Well don't worry! I have understanding now...

I have a band in mind... I will ask them if they could make a cover...


well aren;t you just the man...an "artist" that does belong to any band. writes (lol) his own lyrics without music.....I bet you sing in the shower.

Your to funny to be even a joke.
coolclay
gh0stface wrote:
hack_man_ wrote:

So as long as I give them full credit for the song and do not maim or modify it in any way... It is alright?

You should be fine when doing a cover. When I meant by taking and using say 3 seconds of the lyrics or beats of the song and passing it off as your own, I mean using it on a CD recording and trying to pass it off as your own. I don't know if you were old enough to remember this, but there was a lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for using similar beats by uh I forgot the band that created the song Underpressure. I think it twas U2.


FYI, it was Queen, not U2 or Bowie.
HDirtwater
coolclay wrote:
gh0stface wrote:
hack_man_ wrote:

So as long as I give them full credit for the song and do not maim or modify it in any way... It is alright?

You should be fine when doing a cover. When I meant by taking and using say 3 seconds of the lyrics or beats of the song and passing it off as your own, I mean using it on a CD recording and trying to pass it off as your own. I don't know if you were old enough to remember this, but there was a lawsuit against Vanilla Ice for using similar beats by uh I forgot the band that created the song Underpressure. I think it twas U2.


FYI, it was Queen, not U2 or Bowie.


FYI - I looked it up and it's Queen with David Bowie. Thanks for playing though...
Manus et Therion
Copyright (the right to copy and distribute) is held by the creator of the song. If you want to perform a cover song live for free (like in your shower), it falls under "fair use." By law, a 3 second sample of any published song is also "fair use." But the lyrics themselves, a full cover of the song, is copyright and you must receive a right to do so from the creator of the song (the publisher or artist who holds the copyright).

The Real Estate attorney mentioned above is not accurate. In fact, in a court of law the information we've heard allegedly from him qualifies as hearsay since he was "reported" to have said it, not on record himself.

Please look into it further with ASCAP or BMI before you make any potentially devastating decisions for the rest of your career.

Even singing "Happy Birthday to you..." requires royalty fees if sung on the air. Look it up, don't take mine or any other person's word for it. Ignorance is no excuse of the law.
HoboPelican
Manus et Therion wrote:
.... Ignorance is no excuse of the law.


Agreed. Unfortunately, as convoluted as the law has become, it is not always easy for even a lawyer to get it right. I think the simple fact is that in many cases your fate is up to how a particular judge decides to interpret the laws and legal precedents.
XxeroxX
yea
copyright is very important because it gives teh author of a particular work of art (music, art, woodworkign XD) a right to not have their work be copied. i mean: literally. if the government finds taht someone is copying something else which alredy has a copyright on it, the governmetn has the right to go and cancel taht website or go investigate at that person's house in order to find out what exactly is going on. so taht's why copyright is important. remember people, next time when you are about to post some piece of art, COPYRIGHT IT !

-XX
windrei
the song will be broadcasted on the internet, so it's publicly shown... however it's not belonged to you... there must be copyright problem. Don't try to test the law..

For cover song, you find your own band to play it, right ? no problems in the singing part and playing part, but the compose and lyrics will face the same problem...... now what you can do are :

1. write to snow patrol to ask for permission, most direct but difficult....
2. compose your own song
3. find another song without copyright problem.
4. do not use any songs......=.=''
Vrythramax
HoboPelican wrote:
...I think the simple fact is that in many cases your fate is up to how a particular judge decides to interpret the laws and legal precedents.


Isn't this the case all the time?
Jack_Hammer
HoboPelican wrote:
Manus et Therion wrote:
.... Ignorance is no excuse of the law.


Agreed. Unfortunately, as convoluted as the law has become, it is not always easy for even a lawyer to get it right. I think the simple fact is that in many cases your fate is up to how a particular judge decides to interpret the laws and legal precedents.


It's all down to interpretation and how you would project your interpretation
linangan
It depends where the country is playing, and in which country the song was originally "copyrighted."

Where I'm from, the gist of it would be: If you're not earning anything from what you're doing with another person's work, there shouldn't be any problem. If you will eventually earn from it, whether through sales or if the other person's work will make you famous, then there should be permission.

It's pretty lax though, for as long as somebody acknowledge the real creator during the use of such copyrighted material, there wouldn't be law suits or anything like that at all.
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