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Music Publishing Question: Recording a cover

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by RockNRoll, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. RockNRoll

    RockNRoll Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007

    I'm planning to help a friend record a self-produced cover album of a few popular songs (new arrangements), and I have some music publishing questions that I was wondering if anyone had any insights to:

    1. Besides paying the required mechanical royalty fees, are you required to get official permission to record the song in the first place? In other words, are OP or SP holders allowed to deny anyone to recording covers of their songs?
    2. From what I understand, paying the initial mechanical royalties is in fact a lump sum advance payment of future CDs/singles/music sold. After that, is the artist or indie label contractually binded to reporting total income sales of the covers on an annual basis to all the respective OP/SP holders, forever?
    3. After recording the cover songs with the new arrangements, does the cover-artist (who paid for the album) own the masters to these new recordings?
    Thanks for any insights!
  2. Kurt Foster

    Kurt Foster Distinguished Member

    Jul 2, 2002
    77 Sunset Lane.
    1. no. once a song is "published", ( made available for public consumption) any one may "cover" it.

    2. yes but if no additional copies are produced you aren't required to do anything more.

    3. yes. but they only own the rights to that one recording.
  3. dvdhawk

    dvdhawk Moderator Resource Member

    Dec 18, 2008
    Western Pennsylvania, USA
    Go through the Harry Fox Agency, they are the best one-stop source for mechanical rights - and they have ALL the info on what you want to do.

    Click on the Mechanical Licensing Tool at the Harry Fox website.
  4. RockNRoll

    RockNRoll Active Member

    Jun 25, 2007
    Thanks very much for the feedback!

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