This topic was archived on Mon, 17 Dec 2012 20:31:26 +0000

Archived because: Out of date post

Policy on posting cover versions of copywritten songs?

What is the policy on uploading cover versions of other artist's songs? I'm NOT trying to make money off of it, and I fully intend to credit the original writer.
7 people have
this question
+1
This topic is no longer open for comments or replies.
  • Neal (Official Rep) July 22, 2010 17:59
    Unfortunately, I am not allowed to give any type of legal advice. I can only tell you that you may upload anything that you own the rights too. If you have questions about covers, remixes, samples, etc, then the best thing to do is contact a lawyer.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I'm not asking for legal advice. I'm asking a ReverbNation policy question. Is there a RN policy against uploading covers? Or uploading a version of a song I don't hold the copyright to. And if so, what is that policy?
    • view 2 more comments
    • Dear Neal, cmon brother......... I realize you have to cover yours and reverb's ass in the regards to liability........understandable.....it's just business.... but please! You know as well as anyone who has been here on this site......including everyone running it......that "Everyone" has covers posted..... and only 5% or less, have the rights to those songs, if not less.... Wow....... really? Dont act like this is a surprise to you..... you know it to be fact. please dont take it personally..... you are doing your "What you Have to say" job very well... lol. But maybe artists should be better "WARNED" about the consequences if they violate your so called "policy"....... because thus far...... as far as "I" can see....... nobody's reading it, or gives a crap. Just sayin how it is. Your Policy is the right one, dont get me wrong...... but nobody follows it. And you know it as well as I do. You need a better way of regulating uploads, and "DEFINITELY" need to quit turning your head like it isnt happening, and acting like there's nothing you can do about it. If I were your company..... I would prioritize, and put this near the top of your list of things to figure out. I Love your website and it's impact in the music business.... I just think there are some serious concerns, why even have a policy at all, if you dont intend on enforcing it unless someone "tattles" on someone?
    • Neal (Official Rep) July 07, 2012 13:07
      We follow the DMCA and what it requires. I'm sorry if that does not sit well with you. Have a nice day.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • Neal (Official Rep) July 22, 2010 18:21
    The policy is that you must own the rights to any song you upload.
    • view 1 more comment
    • Forgive me I,m new to all this but, I've just signed up to R N specifically so people can see me and hear me play covers to get some gigs, because that,s what I was lead to believe I could do. I've already seen one ReverbNation site where a band have videos of themselves playing at gigs and I assure you they don't have the copyrights to the songs they are performing. So what's the go.
    • Neal (Official Rep) November 17, 2011 12:43
      You are legally liable for anything that you upload. Additionally, if someone uploaded your content, please contact us so we can help you file a proper legal claim via the DMCA.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • I’m Frustrated.
    Say that I change the arrangement of a song completely, so it is my version, does that give me the right to that version to upload it and not make money off it?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • In every recorded work there are two main copyrights,

    1. The composition copyright, ie the composer of the music (& lyrics) ie Lennon & McCartney

    2. The recording copyright, the owner of the recording. ie the performer or record company that paid for the recording etc. The Beatles / Parlophone

    In very general (and simple terms)

    In the UK when releasing cover versions you should have a mechanical licence from the MCPS (PRS for Music) copyright holder http://www.prsformusic.com/creators/h... (in the US it is the Harry Fox Agency)

    If your 'cover' version includes samples taken from the original recording then you would need clearance from the holder of the recording copyright.

    Changing the arangement or using parts of the original composition still requires a mechanical licence from the writer, (as does re-mixing the original recording). You might think that using a single tiny 'snippet' or riff of the original melody doesn't need clearance, but it does. Though if your record where commercially released, the copyright holder may agree to split royalties with you (though that is well beyond the scope of this topic).

    Lastly if your cover version parrodies the original version or adds content that the original writer might object to, the writer has a moral right to refuse you a licence to cover the song.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • As ever you should refer to a qualified music lawyer for full explanations, but in simple terms;

    In response to Lyle Zanoni, in the UK performing a cover version of someones song is allowable, but where its a 'public performance' by which you are getting paid in someway or that the venue is charging admission (or that its a free show such as a school concert) a PRS return should be made stating which songs where played. (that way the copyright holder (writer/music publisher) of the song will be paid a performance royalty for the songs you have covered).

    The copyright holder of the written work might require you to licence the music in advance for public performance, ie. you can't decide to put on a public performance of Andrew Lloyd Webber's 'Evita' (free or otherwise) before getting a licence etc.

    Where you to record (or video) this public performance and upload it, then yes you would technically need to clear it (get a mechanical licence) from the copyright holder, because as soon as you make a 'recording' and distribute it (ie upload) you have created a mechanical copy.

    So for a simple example Reverbnation earn money via adverts on their web pages, if your cover version of a song is entertaining and popular (which causes the adverts to generate money), the writers of the song have a claim to say that they are due some of the income derived from the apearance of thier song on Reverbnations site. (you on the other hand would be due performance royalty, for your performance of the song, which is what reverbnation refer to as fairshare payments etc)

    Anyway it all gets a whole load more complicated than that, with regard to copyright. Most artists would accept (for personal flattery alone) that thier songs are going to be covered from time to time, and that if you by covering that song became successful would pay them back in return. But because Reverbnation don't want to rack up a load of legal fees, they ask reasonably (and pass legal responsibility) that you don't upload matterial that uses other peoples copyright.
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly

  • So if I get the mechanical license for each song from the Harry Fox Agency then I can upload my cover to Reverbnation?
  • (some HTML allowed)
    How does this make you feel?
    Add Image
    I'm

    e.g. happy, confident, thankful, excited sad, anxious, confused, frustrated indifferent, undecided, unconcerned kidding, amused, unsure, silly