Can song covers be copyrighted?
Cover Song Licensing Once a musical work has been published, anyone can record a cover version of the song by obtaining a mechanical license. The song’s copyright owner must give you a mechanical license if you pay a royalty fee based on estimated revenue from your cover song.
Do you need permission to cover a song on YouTube?
When someone records and releases a song, you are free to do your own cover version of that song by obtaining a mechanical or “compulsory” license. Therefore, you need a synch license as well as a mechanical license to legally publish a cover song on YouTube (unless the song has fallen into public domain).
What songs can I legally cover?
Anyone can cover anyone else’s song, and its creator cannot say no (that’s the compulsory part). But if you do cover a song, you must pay a royalty to the song’s creator (that’s the licensing part).
Do you need permission to perform a song?
To record a song for release to the public, a performer must obtain permission from the music publisher of the song and pay a fee, called a mechanical royalty. A mechanical royalty must be paid when songs are reproduced, for example on compact discs or records.
How can I legally play copyrighted music?
Stanford University Libraries have highlighted a five-step process to get permission for using copyrighted works.
- Determine if a copyrighted work requires permission.
- Identify the original owner of the content.
- Identify the rights needed.
- Contact the owner and negotiate payment.
- Get the permission agreement in writing.
Can you cover a song without permission?
Once the song is released, anyone can do a cover of it and sell it without asking permission. The composers of the songs will get royalties, no matter who sings the song – but the performer only gets royalties if they’re the one singing on the recording.