Licensing Music: Cover Songs, Samples, and Public Domain

July 23, 2010{ 130 Comments }

limelight1 Licensing Music: Cover Songs, Samples, and Public DomainJust as driving a school bus, flying an airplane, and operating heavy machinery (legally!) require the appropriate credentials, specific licenses are required to legally distribute, adapt, and publicly perform music.  Knowing which licenses exist and how to obtain them can save headaches, aggravation, and most importantly – legal fees incurred from copyright violations (money that we’d all rather spend on cool instruments and better recording gear!)

The Golden Rule of Music Licensing

Like most forms of intellectual property, copyright, and large automobiles — if you don’t own or control it, you need a license to use it.  While there are some exceptions to this golden rule (such as public domain works), the golden rule is a common guideline that can helpful in determining what rights need to be licensed and how to obtain them.

Are you using a composition, a sound recording, or both?

In order to determine the appropriate license, you’ll first need to ask the question – what am I looking to use?  Are you creating a cover song?  Are you sampling an existing recording?  Knowing the difference between compositions and sound recordings is key to determining the necessary license.

Compositions (the underlying structure of the song, including melodies, lyrics, chords, etc.) and Sound Recordings (the fixed master recording and/or audio file) are two separate copyrights.  Compositions are often called “publishing rights”, while recordings are “master rights”.  Music publishers and songwriters control the publishing rights, and record labels and recording artists (if they own the label) own and control the master rights.

Still confused?  Don’t worry!  Publishing can be a difficult concept that can be understood via an analogy.  If sound recordings are the building, then compositions are the blueprint.  Without the blueprint, there’s no way to exactly replicate the building (at least not without some heavy-duty architectural know-how, years and years of schooling, etc.).  The blueprint provides the necessary information to create the building much like the musical composition outlines the chord progression, melody, and lyrics needed to create the sound recording.

What do you want to do with the music?

Now that you understand the difference between compositions and sound recordings, it’s easier to determine what license we need.

Make a Cover Song: Cover songs have always been popular, and are now witnessing an unprecedented uptick by way of tribute albums and song sessions (The Flaming Lips doing Pink Floyd, Beck’s Record Club), the TV popularity of American Idol and Glee, branded entertainment like Levi’s Pioneer Sessions or The AV Club’s Undercover series, and as bonus cuts to digital-only releases.  If you’re looking to record your own version of a song, you’ll need to secure a mechanical license from the appropriate music publisher.  Under U.S. Copyright Law, mechanical licenses are required if you want to record or distribute a song that you do not own or control.

Use a Sample: If you’re using a pre-recorded track (ie. the recording of Van Halen’s “Jump” in a new recording), you’ll need to clear BOTH the sound recording copyright with Van Halen’s record label as well as the mechanical license from the music publisher to use the underlying composition.  Since you are creating a derivative work, this is an area that requires negotiating as there is no standard rate and will require direct contact with all parties.

Cover Song: Getting a Mechanical License

 

In the United States, artists and record labels are typically responsible for clearing the right to use cover songs (ie. third-party compositions) via a mechanical license.

A mechanical license is a broad term that refers to the reproduction for distribution or sale of musical compositions in the form of sound recordings. Any time you produce a recording of a composition you do not control you need a mechanical license.  The mechanical license is often limited to one configuration (such as a physical CD/album vs. a digital download vs. a ringtone).  Almost all publishers require a separate license for each use.

There are many entities that can assist in clearing mechanical licenses.  Limelight is a one-stop, simple online tool for artists, bands and labels to clear cover songs and third-party compositions for digital downloads, physical albums, and ringtones.  Customers can create an account and finalize their mechanical licensing within minutes via a simple three-step process for $15 (or less).

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  • Linda

    Did I dream it or wasn't there something a while back about CDBaby setting up a program for us to license out our music?

    You can do that now thru reverb, but I think they want like 51%. If that's the going rate I would rather have CDBaby cash in.

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  • http://www.karmazorianbeats.com Razorian

    this is useful info but still doesn't help to much. Like where do I find the licensees and how do I approach them or get in contact with them. I suppose a layer could do it but I'm not and that stage yet.

  • admin

    Razorian – No need to contact the publishers directly. Just use this link to let LimeLight handle it – http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby

  • http://www.neechee.net neechee

    What about when you record a parody of a song. I've re-recorded (covered) several old popular songs and changed the lyrics to be either funny or to make a social statement.

    Do I need to get a license or permission to release these on CD Baby?

    In researching Weird Al and 2 live Crew, apparently you don't need permission to do a parody and so I assume you also don't need a license or to share any of the money you might make when doing a parody? Is that correct?

    Any info would be helpful. Thanks,

    Neechee

  • http://n/a coconuts

    That's a good question. I am recording an original song, but in it I am using short instrumental phrases from famous songs for a humorous effect (no more than three bars each). Does that apply?

  • http://www.novakeith.net KNova

    I have a question. Mechanical licenses are applicable only for so many units. How do digital downloads factor into that? With physical copies, it's easy, because you know how many units you are going to have printed. There is no way to predict how many units we are going to sell through a digital marketplace. Would we renew the license in an "after-the-fact" manner, ie. the license is good for 2000 units, do we renew once we sell 2000 downloads?

    Thanks to whoever can clear this up for me!

  • Jan Hauenstein

    Hi admin,

    I´m a German. On CD Baby. As a German, I got the publishing rights for the three cover songs on last year´s 'Late Bloomer' via GEMA, obviously. New album is finished, all that´s missing are the publishing rights for my cover of Jackson Browne´s 'These Days'. The German sub-publisher told me that might take weeks. Can I solve the problem with LimeLight? Still need GEMA´s permission for the small company that is to whatstheword replicate? the 300 initial copies of the album.

    Thanks for your trouble – it is rather urgent

    Jan Hauenstein

  • Jan Hauenstein

    Ok, looked at the FAQs – not for international licensic. Damn…

    JH

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Alex H

    @KNova,

    Very simple – you can clear a set number of units in advance of sale (say 25 digital downloads). As you sell the digital downloads, you can come back to Limelight to renew for more. The license doesn't expire and is easy to renew for additional units.

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Alex H

    Hi Jan,

    You can certainly use Limelight to clear the song for US distribution/sale. Any track that you want to do a cover version of can be cleared through Limelight for US release.

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Alex H

    Hi Neechee,

    Parody is a touchy subject. Your best bet is to always consult with a music attorney or reviewing copyright write-ups beforehand.

  • Reinhold Behringer

    Hi, I live and work in the UK. Plan to publish a CD through CDBaby.

    Would this limelight licensing also work here?

    Would the PRS be involved? On their website there is no mention of

    mechanical licenses… are those applicable to the UK?

    What about the situation where the composer is dead for more than 70 years,

    but the printed score implies an everlasting copyright on the composition?

    Is a mech license necessary in that case?

  • Pat Kinsella

    This is all good info to know. But unless something has changed, CDBaby will NOT digitally distribute your cover songs even if you have legally licensed them. They will sell your physical CDs with covers on them, but when it comes to digital distribution, the cover songs just disappear from the list.

  • http://www.scottandrew.com scottandrew

    @KNova,

    I asked this question to the Harry Fox Agency and then again to Limelight, and the answer was the same: my best bet was to keep track of how many copies I distribute, and purchase more licenses when I got close to running out. If my sales went over the number covered by the license, I could still buy more and apply them retroactively — just so long as I bought them soon after. Limelight told me the same thing, but actively discouraged waiting until the last minute.

    All that said: send an email to Limelight with your questions. They got back to me in less than a day.

    Set a calendar reminder to check your licenses vs. sales each month to help stay on top of it. Make it part of your bookkeeping.

  • http://www.hiddenagendamusic.com Dave Howard

    Weird Al's parodies are of the lyrics. He still uses the music as it was written and recorded in the original, so in his case he has to give attribution to the composer (music writer) and he gets a writing credit as the author (lyricist) of the new derivative work (I Lost On Jeopardy). The publisher may split some of the publishing and royalties since he is generating revenue with his wildly popular parody.

    Short answer; yes you need to work with the publisher, license the work and pay mechanical royalties to the writer and publisher.

  • http://kevinbreuner.com Kevin

    @Pat – Not sure why you had an issue with your cover songs, but CD Baby has always distributed cover songs digitally. If you're having an issue with one of your albums, please contact our customer service department so we can help you get to the bottom of it.

    We do require you fill in the correct publisher info for each cover song, so if you leave that filed blank in the sign up form (or just put wrong info in there), we won't send the song out for distribution until the correct info is in place.

  • http://www.myspace.com/apneuwaymusic Von B

    question… my artist is going to cover lionel richey classic ballad "Hello" and the piano chords are sampled but a seperate drum track along with other instruments were added. In addition, my artist is going to write his own verses to it; using some of the words to the original verses. He is singing the hook as.."hello, is it me your searching for" and then repeating it through the hook, almost like a sample itself..(if that made sense!!) What clearence do I need and does limelight handles contacting the publisher for mechanicals???

  • Pat Kinsella

    @Kevin, Thanks! I looked again, and it does seem that download of the cover mp3s is available. So I don't know what i was thinking of/remembering that behaved that way. Anyway whatever i had in mind – it's all good now, so thanks for letting me know this.

  • mikurotoro

    Does this include covers of video game music?

  • Kev

    What happens if you cover a song that has a sample in it? Do you get a license for the song and then contact the publisher of the sample?

  • Reinhold Behringer

    Hi,

    one comment regarding Limelight: they do not appear to check if a song license is actually required. I did a bogus entry with a music piece that did not exist, and they returned me with a price quote.

    So one rule needs to be observed with Limelight: you need to know beforehand if the cover song requires a license or not. I guess one can try at the Harry Fox Agency web site to search if a particular song is in their database. I just did that with two songs I knew, and one of them was in their database, the other was not. With this info one can then use Limelight – actually what would be the advantage of Limelight vs. going directly to Harry Fox and get the mechanical license?

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Ben C

    @ Reinhold

    Hi Reinhold,

    We always do our best to verify the songs requested via Limelight – each song is examined by a licensing specialist. If it seems like the requested song is either in the public domain, controlled by the customer making the request, or otherwise inapplicable for the Limelight service, we contact the customer to determine the best course of action.

    However, there are many times when very obscure songs are requested, and no copyright owner can be found. In these cases we file a notice with the US Copyright Office, as permitted under Section 115 of the Copyright Act. In your case the bogus song you submitted fell into the latter category, as it appeared to our systems as an obscure song.

    The advantage of the Limelight system is that you can get a license for ANY song – even fake ones you make up. A search through the Harry Fox database is actually not indicative of the universe of songs that can be licensed. Unlike Harry Fox, which will only license what is registered in its database, Limelight gives its customers the ability to get a license for any song out there.

    We invite any customers with specific questions to check out the FAQs on the site or contact support@rightsflow.com

    With best regards,

    Ben C

    Limelight Team

    ps – it didn't sound like you had paid for the bogus song, but if you did please contact support@rightsflow.com for a refund.

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Ben C

    @ Kev

    As long as you are not using any sample from the recording itself (ie you are re-recording the song you want to cover from scratch), all you need is a mechanical license, which can be provided via Limelight.

    If you are using any part of the recording, you will need a sample clearance, which Limelight does not provide.

    These technicalities can be complicated and do vary based on the specifics of each situation. If you have questions, we invite you to check out our FAQs or email support@rightsflow.com so we can address your situation specifically.

    Ben C

    Limelight Team

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Ben C

    @ mikurotoro

    Yes! Limelight provides clearance for any song you want to cover.

    Ben C

    Limelight Team

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Ben C

    @ Von B

    Your situation may be considered a derivative work and therefore beyond the scope of a mechanical license – without knowing a bit more it is hard to say and you may want to run the question by an attorney. However if you feel strongly that this version is more akin to a cover version of the song (which Limelight can provide clearance for), we invite you to contact support@rightsflow.com to address the specifics of your situation.

    Ben C

    Limelight Team

  • http://rightsflow.com/cdbaby Ben C

    @ Reinhold Behringer

    Sorry Reinhold, I just now noticed your earlier question. In a nutshell, mechanical licensing is handled differently in most territories outside the US. In the UK as well as many other major territories, it is very common that the digital music services will pay mechanical licenses directly to PRS (or the applicable local rights society in each territory). Therefore the artist would not be responsible for getting a mechanical license in that territory.

    Regarding public domain songs, the PD laws differ country to country. This website is a good source for PD info in the US:
    http://www.copyright.cornell.edu/resources/public

    Thanks,

    Ben C

    Limelight Team

  • http://cdbaby.com/cdJohnBeavin John Beavin

    I want to print a parody to Paul McCartney's YESTERDAY, which may be published in several magazines. I've use Harry Fox Acgy before, but Limelight sounds more thorough and affordable. I plan to apply for mechanical license on several tracks in the future, but at the moment, only need authorization for printed form of YESTERDAY.

    I appreciate your help.

    John Beavin

  • Reinhold Behringer

    Hi @ Ben,

    thanks for your answer to my questions!

    So the search for a license will be done by the Limelight specialists only later, and if no license holder can be found, then the fee would be reimbursed? Makes sense, because, as you say, it may take a while to identify the correct license holder. I did not pay, so no need for reimbursement – I stopped at the stage of when I was quoted the fee.

    When I did the search at the Harry Fox agency, I also noticed their incompleteness: for example, I searched for Stravinsky's Petrushka, and there came up a few recordings – in my opinion there must have been many more, because it is quite a popular music piece.

    Thanks also for clarification regarding the UK situation. I wonder how it is then if I am the "digital music distributor", and I would offer the music directly on my web site – in that case I would probably have to pay mechanical licenses. My concern is not for the sound recording, but only for the music composition – I would like to produce recordings of music which was composed by composers who are less than 70 years dead. The PRS website does not provide much info about this situation – could you point me to any site which offers advice and a clarification of the UK situation? From the FAQ I derive that LimeLight would not cover UK licenses, right?

  • http://michaelwaitemusic.com Michael Waite

    Does anybody know how to clear a cover song to post on Youtube? Is this even necessary since it doesn't directly make any money?

    Thanks,

    Michael Waite

  • http://www.songclearance.com Alex H

    @Michael

    Here's a great link for YouTube cover songs.

    http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/youtube/thr

  • http://www.songclearance.com Alex H

    @Reinhold

    While online digital music service providers oftenhandle mechanicals in the UK, the PRS has a buy-in of over 100 pounds for individual sites hosting music on their site. Limelight doesn't handle UK (or any non-US territories) at the moment.

  • indiecds

    I think that limelight is just what I have needed for some time. Some years ago I released a CD with 6 singer/songwriters on it. they each performed one song of their own and one of Bob Dylan's songs. I was able to get the licensing on my own for 5 of Dylan's songs but one song was a problem. I used Harry Fox for that one song. the problem with Harry Fox is that the license expires after one year so I had to renew it every year. The album was not a big seller and I always ended up paying more for the fees to Harry Fox than what I received from the digital sales of that one song. so it was a money losing scenario. I thus removed the entire Cd from digital distribution. With Limelight the license does not expire after one year. So I am toying with the idea of re-releasing the album digitally.

    I also got the idea that while I previously had to report every 3 months to the publishers of Dylan's other 5 songs, what I could probably do is pay them for a number of downloads in advance which I think they would be happy to agree with since it would mean less work for them accepting small checks every 3 months.

    I also like the singles program that CD Baby has started. It is a great way to release a song that may have explicit lyrics. It keeps that song off an album that otherwise would not be designated as explicit. It also is a great way of releasing cover songs. My plan is to release a number of cover songs by an artist I represent as singles and then later put out an album with the singles on it. The album would not be released as a digital album but only as a CD. That way if I want to remove a song from digital distribution I would not have to remove the entire album from distribution.

  • http://www.celticharpmusic.com Anne Roos

    I used Limelight's services recently. I have two CDs coming out that are filled with cover tunes (50 cover tunes in all!). You can secure licensing online with them, but I really love the fact that I could simply phone them and take care of it instead of trying to figure it all out on my own. They'll answer your questions. Great customer service!

  • Marshall Wright

    I am a musician/singer/songwriter. I have been doing this for most of my life. There is to much red tape. Let me know where to go to audition, sign the contracts and get the show on the road. I am sending a demo to CD Baby. All I need to know is where to go. Too many people want to have control. My style and voice is as good and if not better than most. I feel confident I could sell millions on-line without performing. If you want me to perform, let me know day, date, time. It is as simple as that. Don't send me to a battle of the bands. That is for amateurs and wanna bes. I have already proved to myself that I can do it. There comes a time in every musicians' life where they must decide to be in reality and beauty of music, or a carnival act entertaining temporary sensations. Music has to mean something, otherwise the song will only be a temporary fix. I am looking for musicians who have creative expression and immense feeling. A true musician feels harmony and vibrations within their inner soul. It is about the music and not self-glory. If you do music for the purpose of money you will become a hollywood cut-out. Money is a good thing but, it should not be the motivating factor. A true musician will release their inner person and not be concerned about time frames. I am not interested in satisfying another person's idea of what they think I should write and sing. It is my life, and I perform for those who feel the same way as myself.

  • Andy Firth

    I just don't sell my music to the US territories-easy!

    The rest of the world is covered by my Country's music licensing agreement.

  • http://WWW.MYSPACE.COM/TIMOANDTHEWHITEBUFFALO TIMO STANDING BUFFAL

    I AM PLANNING ON RELEASING " BLESS YOU " FROM JOHN LENNON…MY QUESTION IS..

    CAN I USE THIS MECHANICAL LICENSE ON REVERB NATION ON FACEBOOK …TO RELEASE WITH MY OTHER ORIGNINAL CUTS…

  • http://www.tden.com Ralph Press

    What Marshall Wright says may be true but the fact of the matter is promotion is all that counts. There is no advantage to starving to death. Mediocrity reigns and the public loves it. Take some dog doo and put it in a pretty box with a nice ribbon on it and the public will eat it up. No pun intended.

  • Susan Berg

    What about publicly performing cover tunes? How can an artist obtain permission if the venue has no agreement with performance rights organizations? I've been told in the past that promoters and venues must pay and licenses are not available to artists, but asked to sign contracts that say it's my responsibility – have any other artists had this dilemmma?

  • http://www.myspace.com/edoharlemboyrecords Ed-O

    I found a poem on an "online community" site. It seems it had been forwarded on endlessly, and I haven't been able to find the original author, either at that community, or via ASCAP, BMI, or the Library of Congress. I've since put orchestration to this poem, changed the words slightly, and recorded it. Could Limelight help me identify the author to get a mechanical license?

  • http://www.myspace.com/adamswink Adam Swink

    If I record a remix of a Beach Boys song and add a rap to it, do I still need a mechanical license from the publisher if I am giving the song away and not selling it?

  • http://www.johnandailsa.co.uk John Booth

    We've released covers on our CD. In the UK, we got an MCPS license for the number of copies we were having made. Without this, the manufacturers would not (should not) make the CDs. As far as I'm aware, this covers us for sales of these CDs anywhere in the world. However, it does not cover us for downloads. CD Baby have our CD ("Hommadocks & Thingummyjigs" – Ailsa & John Booth) but we've never been able to resolve how to get licenses for downloading the tracks which aren't ours to copyright. Our sales numbers are low (in fact, zero in the USA so far :-[ …) so it's not worth us forking out for Limelight licenses. The new CD, which we're currently working on, has only one non-original track (i.e. one cover) and we'll pay the copyright dues through the MCPS as usual. I'll ask them about downloads and if I get any joy, I'll pass it on.

    PRS is different – it's to do with broadcast and performance only.

  • Shannon

    I used to do mechanical licensing and royalty admin for a living in Nashville. It's not all that complicated. And you don't need to pay anyone to request the license for you really. All you have to do is contact the owner of the copyright in writing, asking for a mechanical license. You can pay them so much per sale, you don't necessarily have to pay upfront for a certain number of copies. Most publishers will allow you to give promo copies without paying them, so you only pay for the CDs you sell. Then you just give them a royalty statement each quarter to show sales and what their percentage is, and send it with their check.

  • http://www.OrganicAudioRecorders.com Jason M

    @ Marshall Wright (and others)

    A certain amount of confidence, even arrogance, is arguably necessary to persist in all forms of art, particularly in this passionate medium of expression which we have all chosen. But this is a MUSIC BUSINESS forum, and dissuading the young artists on here from working as hard as they personally can to that effect, particularly in a time when the business aspect of music is more in the artists' personal control than ever before (a positive step, I believe) is a highly negative and unhelpful attitude. It is that head-in-the-sand mentality that will come to separate the successes from the homespun artists that continue to perform for solely for their friends and family. If that is your intent, then no harm no foul…but to post here and attempt to influence or encourage others that seek genuine career opportunity in this field in such a manner is misleading and ultimately NOT at all helpful.

    And besides, Limelight is a service that offers to do exactly what you are complaining about _ help cut the red tape. I personally would not use Limelight, but rather approach Harry Fox (etc) myself for licenses and save on the additional costs involved…but nevertheless this is a useful forum for a lot of confusing questions along those lines, and we should keep the focus here on exactly that.

    Young artists need to be savvy and aware, particularly nowadays, if they hope to rise above the cream of the crop. This is a fantastic time for the aspiring (and hard-working) independent artist

  • http://Maker-Jam.com Alfonso Lawrence

    I've been playing cover songs live for 40 years my song list is praticly enless. Having only recorded original songs all my life I now see the reason most artist do cover! In the future Limelight will be the only way to go for me!…..Music & Love from the Motor City!

  • http://limelight.rightsflow.com Alex H

    @Anne

    Thanks for the kind words!

  • http://limelight.rightsflow.com Alex H

    @Timo

    For streaming sites, you'll need to check your user agreement. Many of them already handle the streaming license + royalty payments. However, if the site requires you to clear the mechanical rights, you're responsible for the streaming license and will need to clear it directly with the publisher (as this is currently outside the scope of Limelight – in the near future it will likely be included as an option).

  • http://limelight.rightsflow.com Alex H

    @Susan

    Publicly performed cover tunes are usually the responsibility of the venue to clear (often via a blanket license with the PROs – ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC in the United States). Next step would be to ask the promoter if this responsibility will fall to them (in the event the venue doesn't have a blanket agreement with the PROs).

  • http://limelight.rightsflow.com Alex H

    @Adam

    Unless explicitly outlined otherwise by the publisher, all uses (free or otherwise) require a license and royalty payment.

  • http://limelight.rightsflow.com Alex H

    @John Booth

    For US downloads, you would need to clear the mechanical license (known as a DPD license for digital downloads) separate from the physical product you're putting out in the UK. You can go the DIY route by contacting the publisher directly and asking for a license (as @Susan noted). The advantage to using Limelight is in streamlining the process, ensuring you get a license in a timely fashion for a nominal fee + making sure 100% of the publishing royalties get to the publisher/songwriter(s) regardless of where they're based.

  • Phil Julian

    If someone writes different lyrics to a song, such as what Wierd al yankovic does in his satyres, or when “she’s got Betty Grable eyes: was redone as “She’s got Marty Feldman eyes ”

    What kind of a license is required to put that on a CD, since half of it is original and half is borrowed?

    Is there a separate deal for satyrizing a song?

    Thanks

    Phil

  • http://www.ballesterquinones.com Luis Quinones

    Of the two licenses the most difficult, if not impossible, to get is the master sound recording. We use cover songs in our proyects with music from the 40's up to 60's. Our last proyect is still on hold because we have not been able to obtain the sound recording license. We have tried every name in the music bussiness witout success. We are talkin about 12 songs recorded under the RCA Victor Lable. We have learned that Sony represents the RCA Victor Label, to whom we have submitted all information including the LP numbers from where are the songs we are interested in. No answer up to date.

  • Susan Berg

    What's happening is that venues and promoters won't take responsibility and try to pass it down to me via their contract that I need to sign. I called ascap, bmi and was told they don't issue licenses to artists, just venues and promoters. So when doing those gigs, I only perform originals, but I'd like to be able to sing some covers, particularly songs that I paid mechanical licenses for and recorded on my CDs. These venues include county recreation departments, outdoor shopping centers, malls, etc.

  • kris

    yes i'd like to know as well about the music on a cover song?

    how do i know where the track came from? also can i just re-record the track myself and i own the master license on that?

    thanks

  • Greg

    So what about cover song recordings for "online listening" like cdbaby's artist radio or reverb nation or just posting on Facebook? If you're not selling the song but using it to promote your hard-working local cover band, do you really still need a mechanical license? What if you just do a 30 second song sample to let folks hear your band to decide if they want to hire you?

  • Justin

    What about public domain songs? Specifically, what if an artist wishes to record some Classical music to sell and this Classical music is Public Domain. Also, if mechanical licenses have already been negotiated and granted before registering with CD Baby/Limelight for songs that require a mechanical license, how does that effect registering the album with CD Baby?

  • Chris R. at CD Baby

    Hey Justin,
    Compositions in the public domain do not require that you get any kind of license to sell them. (As long as you're doing your own arrangement or performing the customary/scored version). You WOULD need a license to perform a copyrighted arrangement of a public domain tune. As for mechanicals you've already negotiated, those will cover you for the amount of sales listed in the agreement, no matter where you're selling your music. However, keep in mind that there are different licenses for physical album sales and download sales. Be sure that you're covered for both if you're selling music in both formats.

  • Cole Gove

    Hi,

    I recorded a cover song before I did this I got a mechanical license to do so. I am interested in putting this cover song on Pandora. Is there another type of license that is needed to do this?

    I have read that I need to do the following "…you own or control the public performance rights for those songs and recordings or you have received permission from the owner of the songs and/or recordings to allow us to webcast them, subject to our payment of customary public performance fees for the recordings and the songs."

    Is there a webcast license that is needed above and beyond the mechanical license?

  • Nancy Ricketts

    How old does a cover song have to be to be public domain? What exactly does the term public domain mean?

    • Chris R. at CD Baby

      1923 or earlier. Public domain means that the particular piece of intellectual property has passed out of the period where it is protected by copyright. It now belongs to the public.

  • Mike V

    I want to sample Metallica, but obviously, they are totally not into it. Anyways, would I be able to get around that by buying a mechanical license, hire musicians to cover the song and THEN sample it?

  • Chris R. at CD Baby

    Nope. Sampling without authorization is, obviously, a violation of copyright (against the entity that owns the master recording). If you recorded your own version and sampled that into a new composition, you'd be creating what is called a "derivative work," which requires you get permission from the publisher of the composition. So either way, best to get permission.

  • http://www.hereiihere.com Bryan Reeves

    What if we are recording our own original song, but ending the song with a chorus from another song, like Bob Marley's "ONE LOVE" … so it's our original song; we just end it with another artist's song (that we play all the instruments, so it's not a sample) …

    what kind of license would we need for that???

    • Chris R. at CD Baby

      Well, I'm not a lawyer, but it sounds like you're recording a "derivative work." This is a work that uses elements of a cover song, but twists them into something new. The good news is… people love these. The bad news is… the publisher does NOT have to grant you permission to use their work. You need to run it by them. Then they can negotiate with you or simply tell you "Sorry, bub." Check out Passman's Everything You Need to Know About the Music Biz book for details.

  • http://hervelegerdressh.blogetery.com/ Terrell Warmington

    I intended to write you one little bit of observation so as to give many thanks over again for these pleasant things you've shared in this article.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    Last I heard, you still needed to pay mechanical royalties for "free" cover songs because that publisher/composer's song is helping your career. So, in some way, you intend to use their copyrighted material to either make money, boost your brand/band recognition, or increase web traffic.

  • http://members.cdbaby.com CD Baby Admin

    But to be sure about any of this stuff, I'd recommend consulting an entertainment attorney, or the people at Limelight or Harry Fox.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1313611206 Qaz Wiz

    the base music and its arrangement on filk songs (songs that just change a few of the words for a whole new, usually funny, song) is the same so standard licenses should cover that as if it were a cover song BUT ON TOP OF THAT you need writer's permission to add verses OR alter original verses, even slightly

  • http://www.cdbaby.com/cd/bluesjordan B. JORDAN

    Hello Chris R at CD Baby – your comment: "Public domain means that the particular piece of intellectual property has passed out of the period where it is protected by copyright, 1923 or earlier, It now belongs to the public" –

    Regarding the year "1923 or earlier" doesn't always apply and here's why:

    * Some songs written before the copyright law was passed in 1924 still qualify as a cover song and needs licensing to the publisher. Cautionary advice here is to carefully research all traditional music!

    Examples of well known 'public domain' songs which actually need licensing:
    *The Lion Sleeps Tonight" – Distributed by Disney company in The Lion King movie. However Disney was sued for using this 'public domain' song which was in fact copyrighted.

    *'You Made Me Love You' – written in the early 1900's well before 1923 still needs licensing – some songs have copyright protection secured well beyond 1923.

    *'Unchained Melody' was recorded and distributed as public domain until the publisher finally secured the copyright in the early 1980's.

    *Although JS Bach's music is 'public domain', it still needs protection if you use the versions of Andrew Lloyd Webber, Neil Sedaka and many others.

    *It's Now Or Never (O Solo Mio) and 'Can't Help Falling In Love' (French traditional melody) are both public domain songs but only when the titles are changed with new words.

    *'House Of The Rising Sun' is public Domain – but not when using someone else's arrangement such as the popular Animal's version.

    I've stepped into the 'before 1923' trap many times and learned a painful lesson – Do your homework by researching all 'public domain', songs even the 'safe ones'! A song such as 'Aura Lee' (written in the 1700's) is a true public domain song – but not if used as 'Love Me Tender'

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, like any art that is set in fixed form, it's technically copyrighted automatically. BUT… you still should register that copyright with the Library of Congress. That gives you assurances of certain basic protections if the copyright is ever violated. If you don't register it, you're on your own in court to prove that the copyright was yours at an earlier date than the person you'd be suing.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    I would definitely recommend getting your catalog listing with a licensing agency (or in CD Baby's sync licensing program) so it would be available for licensing.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Is it a mixture of his own music with YOUR music? Or is it a mixture of his own music with someone else's music? If the first, and if you two are the only copyright/publishing parties involved… then you're free to arrange whatever deal you like. If the later, there are two issues that'd need to be address: 1) by adding his own music to an existing composition, your friend created what is called a "derivative work" and needs to get permission from the publisher for such a beast to legally exist. 2) You'd need to get the permission of, and pay, the publisher of that original composition.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, are you talking about adding your own part to an existing composition? Or using a sample of an existing recording? Or both? They're separate issues… one being the derivative work, the other being usage of a sample, and there are separate fees and negotiations for both. (And in both cases the copyright holder can say no for any reason).

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, if you've enlisted an outside mastering service that can verify working on a certain file on a specific date, that'd help when building a case in court.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    That is a gray area, I believe. I'd advise consulting an entertainment law expert on that. I think if the arrangement strays to far from the original, the composer/publisher can view it as a derivative work, in which case you'd need their permission to record/sell it. But then again, many cover songs take a unique approach, and are legal under a simple mechanical license. So… best to consult the experts.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Honestly, I'd consult with an entertainment attorney on that one, because you're mixing the sync world with the sampling world (in that you're using pre-exisiting tracks that would need to be cleared). Might get a little complicated.

  • Robert

    I just recorded a live gig with my cover band, and I'd like to post a song on our facebook page for promotional purposes, not for sale obviously since we don't own the copyright. What's the best, cheapest way to do that legally?

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    You WOULD need permission from the publisher/writer to alter their work. If they agree, you work out a royalty split with them. But I'm pretty sure you do NOT need to pay a mechanical license, as this is no longer a "cover song" but a derivative work. Hopefully we'll get the legal experts to weigh in here for certainty.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Technically, yes.

  • Anonymous

    If I wanted to write copyrighted song lyrics on t-shirts or shoes or posters and sell them online, would I need a license for that?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      I'll leave it to the legal experts to say exactly—but you definitely need SOME kind of permission/license from them. Not a mechanical license, I don't think, since you're not reproducing a cover song, though.

  • Vlado

    What about performing a cover song in Second life, live, not as a record?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Oooh. Great question. Well, if it was a REAL venue—the venue would be paying (or should be paying) their PRO fees, thus covering you for the covers you've performed in their place. But online venues… I think my mind just exploded. Hopefully the legal experts can weigh in here to help us out.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    I believe that a translation still counts as a cover song (as opposed to a derivative work), but you should consult with an entertainment attorney to be sure. If that is correct, then you just have to go through Limelight or Harry Fox to secure the mechanical license for the cover song.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    I would start here: http://members.cdbaby.com/license-cover-song.aspx

    They'll be able to tell you what you should do, specific to living in the UK.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yep. Definitely need a license. Even if you're giving the song away.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, it's case-by-case, of course — but I'd say, in general, you're fine as long as the chords, melody, and lyrics stay the same. Slight arrangement changes, tempo changes, key-changes, extra riffs, etc. All that stuff is fine. It's a derivative work if you start turning it into a different composition.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    So, is it someone else's riff? Like — sampled from someone else's recording? Or did the producer play the riff, but it's based on someone else's music? Let us know and hopefully the author can weigh in with some legal wisdom.

    My take on it is that either way, you're going to have to get in contact with the composer/publisher of the song you borrowed the riff from, and you're going to have to pay them. Also, if you sampled the recording, you'll have to talk to the label who owns the master recording. All 3 of those parties can prevent you from using the riff in your own music — but it's worth a try! They might say yes.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Who composed the music? What year was it written? If it's "public domain" — meaning the copyright has expired, or it was written before 1923 — then you can sell your own arrangements of those tunes on your site. If it's music composed SINCE 1923, you'll probably need to secure a mechanical license in order sell those tracks.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hey Dylan,

    Unfortunately, no. There's two things that are happening in your song that require some additional work. First, the sample itself. You need to clear that with the owner of the sound recording (most likely Marley's label at the time, or whoever owns the catalog now). They can set whatever fee they want for you to legally use a sample from their recording, or just say no. Second, you'd need to get permission from the publisher of that Marley tune in order to use some of his lyrics in your own song, because suddenly you've gone from it being a straight cover song to what they call a "derivative work." Similar to a sample, they can either say yes and set the fee, or say no.

    Hope that helps. Let us know what happens.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Is it the Jeff Buckley version? Just curious. I'm not actually sure what needs to happen in terms of playing a song at a pageant, whether it's considered only a public performance where royalties would flow from the venue, to ASCAP, and back to Leonard Cohen (even if it's not his version) — or if you'd need a license to use that music in relation to your stage production (talent pageant). Is it just a one-time thing? If it's a situation where you'd need a license, you'd end up paying BOTH the publisher/writer (Cohen) and the owner of the sound recording (the label of… Jeff Buckley? Rufus Wainwright? Whoever performs the tune). Sorry I can't be more specific, but I'm no entertainment lawyer!

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yes. MAYBE not for a few of those 20's tunes (if they're in the public domain). But for any song that isn't in the public domain, you need a license to sell recordings of cover songs.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hey Vixen,

    You wouldn't need a mechanical license to perform a song at a festival — unless, of course, you or the promoters recorded the performance and then wanted to sell the live recording. Otherwise, your performance would be a general public performance, the royalty for which is paid by a P.R.O. like ASCAP or BMI to the songwriter/publisher. In terms of legality, I'm actually not familiar with how festivals usually work the whole P.R.O. fee thing. Since it's probably a one-time event, I'm sure they'd like to avoid paying any fees — and want to put the responsibility on the artists to pay any necessary performance royalties. BUT… what about the fact that many of the performers who play original music are also represented by ASCAP and BMI — and thus owed performance royalties for their own music? Are they expected to pay themselves? Waive the flow-through of the fee/royalty altogether? Or should the venue/festival be paying a fee to the P.R.O.s? I'm not sure of the answer. I'd suggest you send an email to the festival asking for clarification of the process. As a second option, send an email to ASCAP and explain the situation, asking for clarity.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Oh, and if you think of it — will you let me know what you find out? I'd love to know some more details about festivals and P.R.O. fees/performance royalties.

    @ChrisRobley

  • Nick Pesci

    Hi Chris,

    My friend and I made a parody of a song using the original music in its entirety but changing the lyrics completely. I was wondering if we need to obtain permission and/or a license to share it. Thanks.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      You definitely need permission, as it's not technically a cover song. You've created what is known as a "derivative work," and to sell that legally, you need to reach an agreement with the publisher. Unless, of course, you want to argue that parodies fall under "Fair Use." But… I wouldn't want that headache. Easier to just get permission upfront.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    That's something I've never done myself, so honestly, I'm not sure what the best approach is. Part of me thinks that by getting a lawyer to present the request, you'd be setting off some alarms on the part of the publisher — and that it might be better to just approach them yourself, professionally but friendly. That being said, maybe the best course of action is to consult an IP attorney first, just to make sure you're approaching the publisher with the most chance of them saying YES. As for negotiation, that's definitely a question for a lawyer, because the publisher technically has the right to ask for nearly any terms if they do grant you permission.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Legally speaking, yes. You'd need a license for any duplicated/replicated/digital copies — even if you give them away. But I'll bet once your recording is made, you'll quickly go through 25 copies between bookers, promoters, radio, friends, fans, family, etc. I'd recommend getting the minimum and covering your bases.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hey Falcon,

    Here's what I found online at this site: http://www.life123.com/career-money/business-law/

    Works created before 1923 are public domain.
    Works created between 1923 and 1964 are protected for 28 years. Copyright holders can renew copyrights for an additional 67 years, but, if they don't renew, copyright protection lasts for only 28 years.
    Works created between 1964 and 1977 are copyright protected for 28 years, but the 67-year renewal is automatic, for a total of 95 years of copyright protection. The earliest works under this category are in the public domain starting in 2059.
    Works created after January 1, 1978, are protected for the life of the creator plus 70 years.

    Keep in mind that this is just for the composition. For sound recordings, it's a whole different ballgame.

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hi Janet,

    I would actually recommend you consult an IP attorney, because I'm not sure. I would assume that if you're quoting and then changing something recognizable (which is not yet in the Public Domain), that you'd need to get permission of some kind from the publisher. Not sure if it'd end up as a co-write, or a derivative work, or what. Let me know what you find out.

    @ChrisRobley

  • signe
  • OffbeatBryce

    Here's a new question, What if I wanted to keep the lyrics but only once or twice change how it's sung? For example, cut out a whole verse, Replace a chorus from the end of the song and sing it at the beginning?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      It's a gray area. Tough to say whether those changes would be protected as part of the arrangement, or if they'd constitute a derivative work. Best to consult a lawyer or ask the publisher.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Yes. You would need a mechanical license to distribute almost any song written after 1923. I would check out http://members.cdbaby.com/license-cover-song.aspx and http://www.harryfox.com/ for details and instructions on securing licenses.

    @ChrisRobley

    • Cedric C

      k! Thanks for your help.

      Cheers.
      Ced

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hey John,

    That's odd about Limelight. Not sure why that would happen. Feel free to contact them, or check out Harry Fox Agency as an alternative. Also, I'm not an expert at international copyright law, but I would assume you'd still need to license those German tunes. If you contact Limelight or Harry Fox, they may be able to answer that question for you pretty quickly.

    @ChrisRobley

  • JB

    Hello, If i get a classical composition of a piano song from the 1800's and get the midi file of the song and load that midi file into a digital piano then sample the sound, does that mean i can use that sample free an clear since the song is in the public domain and also was played by my own piano? thanks !

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      I'm pretty sure you're ok there. Though you might want to read the fine print from the place where you got the MIDI file.

      @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    That becomes very gray when you profit off of a parody. It's easier to claim Fair Use protection when you're using someone else's work as part of a news story or academic paper or something like that. But… a musical parody that you stand to make money from — that's probably going to fall into the category of "derivative work," which the original writers and publishers will have veto power over (and will be co-owners of, if they decide to grant you the right to distribute that work).

    @ChrisRobley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, if he used lyrics but changed the melody, he technically can’t do ANYTHING (selling, streaming, YouTube upload, etc.) until he gets permission from the song’s publisher/s. That’s because this is not a straight cover song. It’s a “derivative work,” which is not protected under any compulsory agreements/rights/licenses. He need the publisher’s permission, and THEN they can negotiate rates for publishing splits, sync fees, etc.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, he COULD use a service like Limelight to acquire a standard mechanical license to sell a cover song, IF it were a cover song. But in this case, it’s not considered a cover song, but a derivative work. It’d require direct negotiations with the publisher/songwriter in order to legally distribute that track.

    @ Chris Robley

  • T Good

    Hi Christopher,
    Let me first say that I am not in the music business. I have a website in which I sell tshirts. If I were to sell a shirt that said “amazing grace” on it and wanted the song Amazing Grace to play in the background, would I need a license? The version would be sung by my daughter and simply used as background music. Would the song be looked at as generating revenue since the words on it match the chorus and therefore require a performance license?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Amazing Grace (as long as you’re talking about the popular hymn) is in the public domain. If you funded the recording and it was your daughter singing, you wouldn’t owe anyone any royalties. You’d own the mater recording, and the composition itself is — as I said above — in the public domain, so no publishing royalties are at play.

      @ Chris Robley

  • CSR

    LMAO… this must have been a joke.

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    YouTube is still a fairly gray area when it comes to uploading videos of cover songs. Some publishers/writers don’t care, or are even happy to have the cover versions out there. Others get pretty snippy. I’d say it’s best to consult an entertainment attorney.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Mariam,

    I’m not sure how it’d work in terms of international copyright stuff, but just in terms of putting it on YouTube, I’d advise getting the permission of the person from whom you borrowed the melody.

    If you based a song of your own on an existing composition, you’ve technically created a “derivative work” — and in order to distribute that, you’d need the permission of the writer/publisher.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Well, technically yes. You’d need to get a sync license to play someone else’s music in your video. But if only one person is ever going to see the video, and you have no plans for distributing it or uploading to YouTube or whatever,…

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Like, an instrumental version of a song? I’m almost certain you can do an instrumental arrangement of a cover song with the standard compulsory mechanical license.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://www.daibutsumusic.com/ Brian

    Hello Christopher!

    My name is Brian. I have written a song, and it’s only sample is a segment of the well-known “Im Nin’ Alu” by Ofra Haza. Sadly, she passed away in 2000. I’m trying to find out, how much it would cost, and how I would go about obtaining permission to use the little snippet of this track in my work, and not having much luck finding answers. It really rounds out the song, due to the track’s title, and the sound of her voice. Instead of trying to track down someone who sounds like her to have me record my own take on this timeless classic, or trying replace it with some other sound (probably my own voice), I’d really love to know how proceed, as well as how to obtain proper permission. I’ve sent email on the one website I’ve been able to find, and haven’t gotten an answer.

    Sincerely,
    Brian.

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      For samples, you need the permission of the owner of the sound recording (as well as the writer/publisher). I’d probably start by approaching the label that released the song, as they’re most likely still the owner of the recording. You can negotiate from there, and hopefully they can help put you in touch with the publisher too.

      @ Chris Robley

  • Toto Kaluza

    Hi Christopher,
    first thanks for all your good advices. Very helpful.
    My band and I are based in Spain and Germany and we are currently
    recording a cd with 2 original songs, 3 songs where we have to pay
    royalties and 7 songs … we think … are Public Domain. The whole
    licensing stuff is quite confusing tbh and I was wondering if there is a
    company/organization that can find out for us if songs are really
    Public Domain. Also, do you know how to find out who is the real
    songwriter of a song that we have to give credit for?

    Thanks alot for your time.
    Sincerly,
    Toto

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      Not sure I have any new suggestions. You’ve probably already tried these, but search the databases (or contact the companies directly) of: Harry Fox Agency, Rightsflow/Limelight, ASCAP, BMI, SESAC, SOCAN, Library of Congress, etc. You might also hire an entertainment attorney to help with the research. If you can’t track down the copyright/publisher info for those songs you assume to be public domain, and you’ve done everything you can to find them, you could (and this is NOT legal advice, so don’t hate me if it backfires ; ) set aside the standard mechanical royalty payment for each one of those tracks that you sell digitally or that you print on discs. Then if someone ever comes calling, you can say “hey, I’ve got your money right here. I really did try to find you.”

      @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    I’m not a lawyer, so take this with a grain of salt, but I’m almost certain that’d be fine. You can’t copyright song titles, so simply referencing the title should be permissible.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://www.tjyoungmusic.weebly.com Tamara Bosshardt

    Hey Christopher, I am wanting to do demo cd’s for people to use for gifts to others or as vocal demos. Not for resale or mass production. Can I use karaoke tracks? and do I need two permissions/ One from the actual producer and one from the karaoke version?

    • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

      I’m actually not sure on that one. Best to contact the producers of the track.

      @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hi Luca,

    You can put “Traditional” for the composer and “Public Domain” for the publisher info. Your wife would obviously own the copyright to the sound recording, but that section of the CD Baby signup process is just concerned with composer/publisher info. So yes, “Traditional/Public Domain.”

    @ Chris Robley

    • luca casavola

      Thanks!

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hi there,

    Yes. That’s correct. YouTube is looking for sonic fingerprint matches. But I’m assuming the live version will differ enough in the performance/production that YouTube will not be able to ID it based on audio. If you distribute the live version through us, then we can definitely make sure they track it across YouTube and pay you ad revenue.

    @ Chris Robley

  • http://diymusician.cdbaby.com/author-chris-robley Christopher Robley

    Hi there,

    There’s a way to get that straightened out so you can monetize music uploaded directly to your channel. Write to cdbaby@cdbaby.com with the details and we can help you out.

    @ Chris Robley