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  • Getting Permission for a Cover Song?

    I've recorded a new version of a popular '80s song and I'd like to get obtain permission and pay for the mechanical rights to release it. What are the steps I must take?
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Elson Trinidad</b><br><br><i>Singer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Bassist</i><br><br>Elson and the Soul Barkada<br><br><br><br><b>Web:</b> <a href="http://www.elsongs.com" target="_blank">www.elsongs.com</a><br><br><b>MySpace:</b> <a href="http://www.myspace.com/elsongs" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/elsongs</a><br><br><b>Facebook:</b> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Elson-and-the-Soul-Barkada/17610745066" target="_blank">Facebook Page</a><br><br><b>Twitter:</b> <a href="http://twitter.com/elsongs" target="_blank">twitter.com/elsongs</a></div>

  • #2
    I've recorded a new version of a popular '80s song and I'd like to get obtain permission and pay for the mechanical rights to release it. What are the steps I must take?


    Go here

    http://www.harryfox.com/

    It's down for another day or so but they'll have all the info you'll need.
    <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Musicians are their own worst enemies when it comes to the music business.</b></div>

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    • #3
      Go here

      http://www.harryfox.com/

      It's down for another day or so but they'll have all the info you'll need.


      Yes I've heard of the Harry Fox agency but what is the process exactly? Last time I went there I was told to enter the title of the song and I would get some response back...I mean what do I expect in this process...is this all done online? Or are there forms to fill? How much does it usually cost? I'd like to hear from someone who's done it before.

      It's kind of like telling someone who's never been to eBay before to "just go to "ebay.com" and figure it out yourself..."
      <div class="signaturecontainer"><b>Elson Trinidad</b><br><br><i>Singer, Songwriter, Keyboardist, Bassist</i><br><br>Elson and the Soul Barkada<br><br><br><br><b>Web:</b> <a href="http://www.elsongs.com" target="_blank">www.elsongs.com</a><br><br><b>MySpace:</b> <a href="http://www.myspace.com/elsongs" target="_blank">www.myspace.com/elsongs</a><br><br><b>Facebook:</b> <a href="http://www.facebook.com/business/dashboard/?ref=sb#/pages/Elson-and-the-Soul-Barkada/17610745066" target="_blank">Facebook Page</a><br><br><b>Twitter:</b> <a href="http://twitter.com/elsongs" target="_blank">twitter.com/elsongs</a></div>

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      • #4
        The law is either $.08 or $.10 per song, per CD. You're supposed to send an accounting and check quarterly. You generally can't negotiate a lower rate, but may be able to negotiate a bi-annual accounting.
        <div class="signaturecontainer">&quot;Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.' &quot;<br />
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        • #5
          I think the general practice is to pay for your entire printing in one go, rather than send in $1.50 on Monday when you sold 15 cds on Saturday. For example, the song is $.08 per CD, you print a run of 500, so you send in $40.00 up front, and then more later if/when you hit a second printing.
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          • #6
            It's 9.1 cents right now, btw.
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            • #7
              The law is either $.08 or $.10 per song, per CD. You're supposed to send an accounting and check quarterly. You generally can't negotiate a lower rate, but may be able to negotiate a bi-annual accounting.


              Nope.

              It's 9.1 cents per song per CD, and it's payable up front with a 500 CD minimum. That means you'd owe them 45.50 for a license to print 500 CDs with that song on it. You can do it all online, and pay it with a credit card. Go to HFA and click on the window that deals with mechanic's licensing.

              BTW, licensing is compulsory, meaning that once I or anyone makes a CD available to the public, anyone has the right to record any of the songs on it without the owner's permission, but he must be compensated.
              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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              • #8

                BTW, licensing is compulsory, meaning that once I or anyone makes a CD available to the public, anyone has the right to record any of the songs on it without the owner's permission, but he must be compensated.


                Right--a songwriter has the right to the first crack at recording a song (you couldn't put out your version of someone's song before they did, without their permission). From there, it's all dollars and cents. I think.
                <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://jukejointhandmedowns.com" target="_blank">Jukejoint Handmedowns (my band)</a><br />
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                <a href="http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/everything-but-the-squeal/id517608194" target="_blank">Find our album on iTunes!</a><br />
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                <img src="images/misc/quote_icon.png" alt="Quote" /> Originally Posted by <strong>gennation</strong>
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                • #9
                  Uh, folx, HARRY Fox is the least of his concerns. Obviously he is releasing this for commercial enterprise- so he must get permission from the publisher FIRST, then the publisher (and possibly the composer-depending on the split, contract, or administrator) okays the new arrangement. They do this to preserve the interest and reputation of the artist or composer. If this gets the nod, then its off to the performing rights society (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC) to register the new arrangement,Harry Fox will only survey mechanicals on released materials.

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                  • #10
                    Question: If compulsory licensing is in force, why would you need permission to record a song?

                    My understanding is that the only time you need to contact the artist/publisher to obtain permission is when you change something (lyrics) that would significantly alter the song, making it a derivative work, such as a parody.
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                    • #11
                      I remember reading an interview with weird al and he said that to make a parody you don't need the permission of the writer and that he obtains it only as a courtesy. Of course, I only think this may be what I read and weird al is... well, weird.

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                      • #12
                        Yes, but the person making the query said they are releasing it. This denotes reproduction for commerce, unless the can expressly prove its not.

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                        • #13
                          ChromaLord: What does it being "for commerce" have to do with anything? It doesn't matter a bit if you make money, or if you are going to make a profit. The charge is the same.

                          A parody certainly is a derivative work, but parody is protected under the "fair use" exception. This is an exception to licensing requirements in certain situations (other exceptions exist for making copies for archives, putting clips on the news, etc...). Wierd Al is correct - due to the "fair use" exception, parody requires no compensation.

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                          • #14
                            Uh, folx, HARRY Fox is the least of his concerns. Obviously he is releasing this for commercial enterprise- so he must get permission from the publisher FIRST, then the publisher (and possibly the composer-depending on the split, contract, or administrator) okays the new arrangement.


                            Not true at all. I licensed several songs through HFA I recorded on CDs I sold and never had to ask permission to record any of them. Licensing is compulsory. The only time you need permission is if it an unreleased song. HFA, as the collection agency, is the one that distributes the split between publisher and writer. If they have the song on file, they will issue you the license.
                            <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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                            • #15
                              Here's more:

                              from LegalMatch.com

                              How Does a Compulsory Cover License Differ from a Traditional Music License?


                              Unlike a traditional music copyright license, the terms for a compulsory cover license are established by the U.S. Copyright office rather than the artist or record label. This includes set royalty percentages and payment schedules. Also, a compulsory cover license does not require negotiations with the original musical composition copyright holder. In other words, you can obtain the right to sell a cover version of a song without ever having to gain the consent of the original artist.

                              What is the Process for Establishing a Compulsory Cover License?


                              Getting a compulsory cover license is four step process that includes the following:

                              • Identify the holder of the musical composition copyright of the song to be recorded: This can be done by personally searching the records of the U.S. Copyright Office. The Copyright Office can also conduct the search for a nominal fee.
                              • Send a “Notice of Intent to Obtain a Compulsory License” form to the copyright owner 30 days before sale of the cover song: This notice tells the copyright holder that you will be selling a cover version of their work, formally establishing a compulsory cover license. Note that a separate letter must be used for each song, even if it’s the same artist.
                              • Make royalty payments, with accompanying account statements, on or before the 20th of each month
                              • File an annual statement of total sales of the recording, certified by a public accountant
                              It is important to emphasize that a compulsory cover license does not require any action on the part of the copyright owner. Once a person satisfies the four steps above, they are legally entitled to sell their cover version of the song.

                              Does the Copyright Owner Have any Recourse Against a Compulsory Cover License?


                              Yes, if the cover alters the original song in any significant way. The compulsory cover license only applies to covers that are consistent with the original rendition of the song. Therefore, remixed or off-the-wall covers of songs may not be applicable under a compulsory cover license.

                              ______


                              It should ne noted that if you use the Harry Fox agency, they do steps 1-4 for you as a service to their clients. You fill out their forms for each song, pay them the royalty and they do the rest.
                              <div class="signaturecontainer"><a href="http://www.patcoast.com" target="_blank">http://www.patcoast.com</a><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot;The guy would be strumming along, singing the verse to “Margarittavile” and then he would hit his harmonizer pedal for the chorus. It went from sounding like a guy singing and playing guitar to sounding like the Stephen Hawkings trio.&quot;-<i>Christhee68</i></font><br><br><br><br><font size="1">&quot; the singer of my cover band used to find it funny to let out gaseous forms of vile hate and sadness that would make a plaster baby Jesus weep.&quot;-<i> FitchFY</i></font></div>

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