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  1. #1

    Default cover songs on a CD

    The band I play with wants to make a scond CD. The first was originals. We sold maybe 200 and gave more away. The want to put original and covers on the next cd and just use it for demo purposes and give it away, but not charge. The idea is if you don't charge for the cd, you dont have to worry about any copyright violations, charges etc. I don't think this is right. Anyone with experience on this.

    Thanks

    smf

  2. #2

    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    I've always wonder how one makes a scond cd? Was it documented on cake boss or something?

  3. #3
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Quote Originally Posted by SMF View Post
    The idea is if you don't charge for the cd, you dont have to worry about any copyright violations, charges etc. I don't think this is right. Anyone with experience on this.
    Not true. If you don't get permissions (via a licence) then it's a violation of copyright to copy and distribute. As mechanical copyrights are paid on a percentage of retail or dealer price, you could put down 0 for that and see what happens, I imagine there is some minimum royalty.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member/Forum Contributor 2010 harmonizerNJ's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    You can read this FAQ list as a start to understanding licensing issues: http://www.harryfox.com/public/Licensing-GeneralFAQ.jsp

  5. #5
    teledyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Indeed, you see, this is the slippery slope that we have fallen into, you cannot sing for free because the material costs you, so you have costs and either you swallow those costs, or you pass them along to the consumer, that's how commerce works. So either you do originals, or you do re-writes of public domain (which is, in a huge majority of cases, what the pop-stars do, Stairway to Heaven for example) or you ante-up and pay the fee, or, and this is what a lot of the kids today will do, you search for material that is CreativeCommons.org

    and I suppose it makes sense. If I am doing harmolodic covers of Rolling Stones songs, why is the record buyer looking at my record? Is it because I am a superstar and they know anything I do must be absolutely amazing and so they'll risk their cash just 'cause it has my name on it? No, and if that were the case, I wouldn't need Jagger/Richards because I'd already be John Zorn. The reason the CD has attracted attention is because the buyer sees something familiar on it, and that familiar thing 'belongs' to someone else, and so they want to be paid for their stuff, and, well, only a fool would strike a deal based on a percentage from my sales, so they ask a reasonable flat fee.

    This is not to say I agree with the practice, or that it is even logical. As Mark Twain said, the only thing incomprehensible to God is our copyright law; I see no reason why the royalties for John Coltrane's My Favourite Things should go to the Richard Rodgers estate, and clearly, clearly if any of the rest of us were to record that tune on the sax, we're owing to JC, not RR, but there you have it, copyright law, it is about property, not thoughts and ideas and artists and culture, it is about property, always was, always will be.

    now for the good news: it is pretty easy and relatively cheap to secure the rights for a lot of songs using LimeLight

    I got this from their facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/coversong
    Email - michael@songclearance.com
    Website - http://www.songclearance.com

    Just for fun, just now, I did a trial run and said I was wanting to release a 24 minute version of My Favourite Things for 500 purely digital downloads starting on JC's birthday next year, and the total cost was given at $225.
    the blues is the roots the rest is the fruits

  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Quote Originally Posted by teledyn View Post
    I see no reason why the royalties for John Coltrane's My Favourite Things should go to the Jerome Kern estate, and clearly, clearly if any of the rest of us were to record that tune on the sax, we're owing to JC, not JK,
    On the contrary, I would expect to pay royalties to Richard Rogers (Estate) as composer of that tune. John Coltrane didn't compose it. John Coltrane's copyright would be in the recording (or rather, the record company's copyright)

  7. #7
    teledyn's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post
    On the contrary, I would expect to pay royalties to Richard Rodgers (Estate) as composer of that tune. John Coltrane didn't compose it. John Coltrane's copyright would be in the recording (or rather, the record company's copyright)
    I don't buy that, and yes, I fixed up my mistake above because it is Richard Rodgers and not Kern, but can we honestly say that Rodgers 'composed' the 'trane version? Nonsense, JC composed the vast majority of it, all he took from Rodgers was the barest hint of the shape, and the title.

    Notice too that because Trane riffed on it for so long, he had to pay more, because it exceeded the minimum 4 min, yet he only really cites Rodgers for what, perhaps a minute or two? The law is biased to the western classical ideals of 'composition' and not to those of the rest of the planet. That's my view, anyway, and yes, my view is not the legal view, which is why I stay on the CreativeCommon.org side with everything I do, and I don't go near the 'commercial' planet unless I absolutely must.
    the blues is the roots the rest is the fruits

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Quote Originally Posted by teledyn View Post
    I don't buy that, and yes, I fixed up my mistake above because it is Richard Rodgers and not Kern, but can we honestly say that Rodgers 'composed' the 'trane version? Nonsense, JC composed the vast majority of it, all he took from Rodgers was the barest hint of the shape, and the title.

    Notice too that because Trane riffed on it for so long, he had to pay more, because it exceeded the minimum 4 min, yet he only really cites Rodgers for what, perhaps a minute or two?
    No, Rodgers didn't compose the Trane Version, he composed the melody which Trane used and then based his impro on.

    But if I did a version, it would be Rodgers I would expect to pay, Coltrane would not be relevant to my version.

    The thing is, could Trane have done his recording if the song didn't exist? No.

    If you do a long improvised solo on someone else's composition, you could say the solo is a new composition, in which case the recording is a medley. But Coltrane didn't do that.

  9. #9

    Default Re: cover songs on a CD

    Thanks for the discussion.
    Bottom line, we need to get permission through copyright lisencing copy and or distribute a song, regardless of way is charged for cd, even for free.

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