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What is illegal when covering music?






Is it illegal to record yourself covering a song?
Yes
5%
 5%  [ 1 ]
No
80%
 80%  [ 16 ]
Not sure
15%
 15%  [ 3 ]
Total Votes : 20

Lobo23
I can't seem to find information on what is illegal when covering and or playing music. I'm trying to be in a band and I'm afraid to cover any songs in fear that I might get sued by some band.

So... does anyone know the laws on covering music, or playing songs by another artist?
catscratches
A quick Google search brought me to this page. Hope it can help.
http://www.cleverjoe.com/articles/music_copyright_law.html
David_Pardy
99% of bands aren't going to be worried at all about you covering one of their songs.

The other 1% are just greedy bastards who were never in it for anything but money in the first place.

You would need to be more concerned about their record label, as they're the one who makes the most money out of the artist's success.

But if you're concerned, just send the band or their manager an email requesting permission - I've done it once before and the response seemed more as one of surprise that I was evening asking in the first place!
clydejaw
You would think that a band or artist would feel grateful that you appreciate their music or whatever.. cause i'm sure most of them do. But however, if they are against it and all.. it shows what kind of a dick they are to be honest... i'd personally would stop listening to their music all together >_>.. or even.. make a piss-cover of it but change it slightly so that you wouldn't get sued Very Happy
Insanity
If you are playing just for fun with some friends or something, I don't think it really matters. The main issue is if you are playing a gig and possibly making money off of it; usually, if you play at a place like a bar or pub, the owner is required to pay the royalty fees associated with it.
molif
i think as long as you are not selling the record it should be fine..
Lobo23
Wow. Thank you all very, very much.

In reply to most of you; I'm not making anything other than virtual money on gaiaonline.

The most helpful thing is this link from catscratches. Thanks a lot. Very Happy
annietime66
anything that doesn't contain registry signs will be illegle
Lobo23
annietime66 wrote:
anything that doesn't contain registry signs will be illegle

registry signs?
annietime66
something like rights reserved~~~~
Lobo23
annietime66 wrote:
something like rights reserved~~~~

oh. I thought you meant something much more complicated xP
annietime66
no....sometime it's really confuse about rights for musical products.....Razz.....but i know anything for personal uses will be fine..but not for business or selling....
froginabox
Lobo23 wrote:
I can't seem to find information on what is illegal when covering and or playing music. I'm trying to be in a band and I'm afraid to cover any songs in fear that I might get sued by some band.

So... does anyone know the laws on covering music, or playing songs by another artist?


It depends on where you play. If you play at live venues or bars or other establishments that usually have music, they have performance licenses with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or a combination of the three. This essentially allows you to PERFORM all the cover tunes you want.

RECORDING cover tunes, for any purpose whatsoever, even giving away or just for "personal use," is an entirely different ball game, one where you must seek explicit permission from the composer (not always the same as the artist you know who does the tune) to make a recording. If the composer agrees to that recording, you are obligated to pay that composer royalties at the statutory rate.
Lobo23
froginabox wrote:
Lobo23 wrote:
I can't seem to find information on what is illegal when covering and or playing music. I'm trying to be in a band and I'm afraid to cover any songs in fear that I might get sued by some band.

So... does anyone know the laws on covering music, or playing songs by another artist?


It depends on where you play. If you play at live venues or bars or other establishments that usually have music, they have performance licenses with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or a combination of the three. This essentially allows you to PERFORM all the cover tunes you want.

RECORDING cover tunes, for any purpose whatsoever, even giving away or just for "personal use," is an entirely different ball game, one where you must seek explicit permission from the composer (not always the same as the artist you know who does the tune) to make a recording. If the composer agrees to that recording, you are obligated to pay that composer royalties at the statutory rate.

That is now the msot direct and helpful information I've gotten.
I was about to say "screw it, I can't find out what the law is, so I'm going to give it a go" and start a little online cover band. If not for you froginabox I would have probably been sued. Thank you very, very much.

So... I guess... NEWS FLASH!: FUN IS NOW OFFICIALLY ILLEGAL, SAYS U.S. CONGRESS. Bush says this "Fun goes against the ways of our lord Jebus Chirston, or whatever his name is, I never read that book, but the point is, Fun is the way to hell, and my daddy says hell is bad. "
froginabox
Sorry to mess things up, lobo... I'm studying copyright law as it pertains to music this semester. Still better than getting nailed for that... the fines can be nasty.
David_Pardy
This is an interesting time for this topic actually.

I just read in the news the other day that Intellectual Property Law in the US has done significantly more for the nation's economy than US Copyright law.

Better let the RIAA know, eh? Wink
Damarus
Just make sure you read the copyrights of the band you'll use the music from.
there are some band/artists that let you use their soundtracks in any way you want but you can't make it profitable...'cuz if you do...it will usually end in you paying a lot of fine. Rolling Eyes

So before you use the song (or w/e you want from it) make sure you go to the website of the artist/band or look at the original cd and read the copyrights.
The Mitchell
basically comes down to money. if you are amking money from itthey are entitled to an amount of that money. basically if you are making zero or an unnoticable amount of cash from it i wouldnt be too worried
Srs2388
i don't think it is... I have covered a few songs and stuff... but i didn't sale the covers
charisco
froginabox wrote:
Lobo23 wrote:
I can't seem to find information on what is illegal when covering and or playing music. I'm trying to be in a band and I'm afraid to cover any songs in fear that I might get sued by some band.

So... does anyone know the laws on covering music, or playing songs by another artist?


It depends on where you play. If you play at live venues or bars or other establishments that usually have music, they have performance licenses with ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, or a combination of the three. This essentially allows you to PERFORM all the cover tunes you want.

RECORDING cover tunes, for any purpose whatsoever, even giving away or just for "personal use," is an entirely different ball game, one where you must seek explicit permission from the composer (not always the same as the artist you know who does the tune) to make a recording. If the composer agrees to that recording, you are obligated to pay that composer royalties at the statutory rate.


It is just as stated above. I represent bands who want to record cover songs and we need to make sure it is ok to do so before we simply go into the studio and record.

Now, as for a parody, I believe that is entirely different. You do not need permission to record parodies of songs I believe,
froginabox
That is generally correct, the Supreme Court in the past has deemed acceptable the fair use argument when making a parody even though you could argue it is also a derivative work. For full text of the decision look up Campbell v. Acuff-Rose Music, Inc, that's the specific suit I'm referencing.
liljp617
hmm I would imagine that if you're using their song as a backing track it definitely is. Not sure if you're simply playing it without any backing from the particular band. Either way, any band that's big enough for you to be covering them isn't gonna track down all the people who cover them..if they did that, they would have no fan base what so ever, so it would be dumb to hunt down the fans covering them. It is illegal though in all technicality...and it's definitely illegal when a cover band impersonates a real band (I think some cover band did it with Led Zeppelin not too long ago and got fined for it and had to change their name).
Helios
Well, for example, let's take Stormlord who did a cover of Moonchild by maiden, and released it in a full album as a song.
Another example is Killswitch Engage's cover of Holy Diver by Dio - they even released a video! (can be found on YT)
There are many more bands who did cover songs and released them in an album.

If they were covering my songs, I'd feel really good about it actually.
liljp617
Helios wrote:
Well, for example, let's take Stormlord who did a cover of Moonchild by maiden, and released it in a full album as a song.
Another example is Killswitch Engage's cover of Holy Diver by Dio - they even released a video! (can be found on YT)
There are many more bands who did cover songs and released them in an album.

If they were covering my songs, I'd feel really good about it actually.

If they're making pure profit off of it and aren't really intending for it to be support of the original band, it's simply illegal...that's something I would probably pursue as a big band. If they were doing it out or support though, I wouldn't mind.
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