Re releasing with added instrumentation?

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by yaoh_comeon, Jul 9, 2007.

  1. yaoh_comeon

    yaoh_comeon Guest

    Hey ppl,
    I have received an album pre mastered at Audio CD resolution.. Now the Producer has no open sessions of the tracks & wishes to add some more instruments to the material..
    The masters were previously recorded & released under a record label.. Now the artist is not under the label anymore but the rights still remain with them.. (As far as have been briefed) Hence the new instrumentation.. So I’d like to know if there r any inputs as to what extent of new stuff needs to be added into it to not get into any legal hassles??
    Thanx a ton in advance..

  2. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    As far as what you are asking about simply ADDING instruments will not change the copyright. If it were that easy then everyone would add a couple of notes of bass or a bell to a Police track and re-release it as their own.

    You would have to get a mechanical license for the material and then add the instrumentation. I believe the current rate is 9.1 cents per song per CD and a minimum of 500 CDs. If the record company still owns the rights to the material it would probably be a good idea NOW to get an entertainment lawyer involved. No telling what contractual arrangements have been made....and all bets are off unless you have the signed record contract in hand.

    Good Luck!
  3. yaoh_comeon

    yaoh_comeon Guest

    Thanx guys for the reply & helpin me thru to come to a conclusion that, ITS BEST TO STAY OUT OF IT!! & advice the producer the same..
    Now the curious me has something more to ask.. If the artist wants to re-record all the stuff with subtle changes on the tracks, will they still be considered as covers? Coz its the same artist doing the tracks again in its own "new" way.. If yes, then again does the artist have to go talk to the old record label for rights??

  4. Thomas W. Bethel

    Thomas W. Bethel Distinguished Member

    Dec 12, 2001
    Oberlin, OH
    Home Page:
    If the artist is no longer with the record company and the record company has the rights to his or her material then he or she will have a couple of options ( and this depending on who he or she is and who the record company is and how important this is to them) can get quite nasty and expensive. It has been done by some big name artist but they have the best lawyers and can afford the legal costs.

    His or her options would be......

    Obtain the rights to the material from the company that owns them either by purchasing them outright or with permission.

    Take the record company to court and win back the rights to the songs.

    Pay for the copyright and or mechanical rights and rerecord the songs.

    I am NOT a lawyer but in this case I think your friend should sooner than later talk with an entertainment lawyer and find out what is in the contract and what would be their best course of action. It is all conjecture on my part having never seen the contract or knowing what laws are applicable where you live and work.

    Best of luck!
  5. RemyRAD

    RemyRAD Member

    Sep 26, 2005
    There was an interesting occurrence of something similar to this in very recent years. Steve Miller's Fly Like an Eagle was recently rereleased by him. It is NOT the original previous recording but a carefully produced "sound alike" designed to be nearly indistinguishable from his original release! I'm not sure of the entire story behind this? Not sure how he managed to pull this off without legal ramifications? Obviously, he owns the music, not the record company who owns the recording of the original release. If anybody knows more about this, I'd love to hear about it?

    I'm surprised he didn't "Fry Like an Eagle"?
    Ms. Remy Ann David
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