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  #1  
Old 09-03-2019, 09:48 AM
romancandle romancandle is offline
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Default Do you post covers legally?

I noticed that Band Camp, Sound Cloud, and You Tube prohibit covers unless you have permission by the label. I know that there are sites to get your music on Spotify and iTunes but I'm talking about the free services. So you see covers on these sites but are people doing this legally? I would love to get my covers out there but I just don't feel comfortable getting a copyright claim.

Last edited by romancandle; 09-03-2019 at 09:58 AM.
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Old 09-03-2019, 01:24 PM
DesertTwang DesertTwang is offline
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Don't do it. Prince's music publisher, NPG Music, hit me with a copyright strike because I posted a video of a bluegrass band(!) performing a cover(!) of one of his songs on YouTube. They gave me no warning, nothing. That was in 2015, and the strike is still on my account. I would obviously have taken the video down immediately if they had told me, but no. I was completely unaware I was doing anything wrong. I was never a fan of Prince, and the incident didn't exactly help improve my appreciaton of him, or of lawyers in general...
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Old 09-03-2019, 02:06 PM
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DCCougar DCCougar is offline
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I've seen plenty of covers posted here and elsewhere. I'll be interested to see what these folks say.....
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:09 PM
Bill Sims Bill Sims is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DCCougar View Post
I've seen plenty of covers posted here and elsewhere. I'll be interested to see what these folks say.....

...as heads duck and eyes turn away...
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Old 09-03-2019, 03:27 PM
Chipotle Chipotle is offline
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I asked the same question here not too long ago. The typical answer was, "I do it all the time, don't worry about it."

I was/am a bit skeptical, since I have experiences where YouTube sends a "cease and desist, take it down" notice within minutes. Some bot recognizes the tune to "You Are My Sunshine" and fires off the message. But I recently posted a "compilation" clip with 20-30 seconds of several cover songs, and no such notices yet. And YouTube is littered with covers that have been up forever, so YMMV.

I do believe that they typically send warning notices first, before just bringing down the ban hammer.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:50 AM
MikeBmusic MikeBmusic is offline
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Take a look at my youtube, plenty of covers. Occasionally, I have received a 'copyright warning' and a few times a notice that the streaming royalties have been claimed by the label/publisher. Twice songs taken down (Eagles was one, Led Zeppelin another). Had that happen with videos of bands playing too - Steely Dan, Jethro Tull. Warner Brothers is the worst for it.
Not sure what DesertTwang means by a 'copyright strike'.
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Old 09-04-2019, 07:59 AM
romancandle romancandle is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Take a look at my youtube, plenty of covers. Occasionally, I have received a 'copyright warning' and a few times a notice that the streaming royalties have been claimed by the label/publisher. Twice songs taken down (Eagles was one, Led Zeppelin another). Had that happen with videos of bands playing too - Steely Dan, Jethro Tull. Warner Brothers is the worst for it.
Not sure what DesertTwang means by a 'copyright strike'.
3 strikes you're out.
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:20 AM
HeyMikey HeyMikey is offline
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There is a ton of cover lessons out there. Are those forbidden also?
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Old 09-04-2019, 08:54 AM
JonnyBGood JonnyBGood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MikeBmusic View Post
Not sure what DesertTwang means by a 'copyright strike'.
That's what they are called. Three and you're out:

https://support.google.com/youtube/a...14000?hl=en-GB
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:24 AM
merlin666 merlin666 is offline
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So what exactly is all included in a cover and a copyright? There are cover bands that can replicate the recorded music quite faithfully. But at my level, for most songs I change the key to suit my limited singing range, simplify the chord sequence, and more often than not butcher the melody when I sing, ix up or forget verses, and garble the words (yes I am that bad). Plus if I do this in public I acknowledge the origin of the song (if I know it) and apologize for mutilations. These supposed copyright issues are extremely confusing, and there is a need for clarity for the level of quality that is needed to deem something a "copy" of something else.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:36 AM
JonnyBGood JonnyBGood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HeyMikey View Post
There is a ton of cover lessons out there. Are those forbidden also?
That would depend entirely on the published clip and to what extent it incorporated a significant portion of the copyright work. It certainly can do - for example if someone were to play through a full piece then break it down, yes. However, you could find yourself with a strike merely from reproducing a section of the piece. It depends on the circumstances.
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:49 AM
keith.rogers keith.rogers is offline
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If you repeat the words to a song that is copyrighted (and almost all are, save a few old ones in the public domain), and you do not first obtain permission, then you've probably infringed on the copyright owner's "exclusive" rights. What happens after that depends on what the owner wants to happen. Because YouTube gets more "eyeballs" than almost anything else, and it does not want to be an accomplice, as soon as someone claims that you've infringed, they'll take action (without actually investigating whether the claimant has legal grounds, I might add).

Now, a lot of song copyright owners have already worked with YT to establish what they want done - most common is you'll simply get a notice and YT will stick more ads into the video, and any revenue generated goes to the copyright holder, not you (assuming you're eligible for monetization). A few do say they want the video removed, and that's when you get a strike against you.

I post covers but I go through the steps to obtain a streaming (mechanical) license for the audio. If that's not possible, then I don't post the video. Video licenses are tedious and expensive, and you can assume if you can get the audio license, YT probably already has the video side covered, especially if there are already multiple copies posted. The corollary here is that if you don't see any other covers, it's probably being aggressively protected, so go look for something else to cover, or at least post.

Places like SoundCloud and SoundClick generally aren't in the monetization business, so you can probably get away with more there, but it doesn't mean that you aren't in violation, and the best course of protection is to pony up the money for a streaming license. (EasySongLicensing.com is one site I've used - the "handling/processing" fee is the most expensive part most of the time.)

This is all very simplistic, and IANAL, so if you really want to know what to do, talk to a lawyer, read lots of very confusing books (this stuff changes over time), or consider writing your own songs .
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Old 09-04-2019, 09:54 AM
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raysachs raysachs is offline
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Maybe they only go after you if you're any good. All I play is covers and I've posted several to Soundcloud (mostly private, but a few public) and I think I even had a couple up on YouTube briefly (before I had an multi-track recorder and was just doing the odd video recording of myself. Nobody's ever been in touch with me.

Maybe what I'm playing isn't even recognizable to an algorithm - I'm pretty bad and the only chance I have is to play completely my way, which may not set off any alarms. I just use them mostly for self-critique but occasionally I'll share something with a few friends and those are available to the public.

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Old 09-04-2019, 10:21 AM
JonnyBGood JonnyBGood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merlin666 View Post
Plus if I do this in public I acknowledge the origin of the song (if I know it) and apologize for mutilations. These supposed copyright issues are extremely confusing, and there is a need for clarity for the level of quality that is needed to deem something a "copy" of something else.
Ok I'll have a go. Firstly performance of covers live and publishing covers are two different matters (in terms of how they are handled) and here we were talking about the latter, but as you ask..

In the UK royalties for live performance of copyright works are collected via the Performing Rights Society (PRS). It is the venue's responsibility. not the musician, to handle this i.e. they must have a licence if they are to have public performances of copyright music. When I worked as a gigging guitarist I was sometimes asked by the venue for set lists of what I was going to play, with details of composers. This is for the venue to fill out their paperwork.
Quality is irrelevant - I can't say to the venue 'don't count this tune as my performance was so awful' :-)

Similar arrangements exist in other countries. Acknowledging the originator to the audience is good practice but is largely irrelevant, I advise you find out how the system works in your country if you are gigging.

Publishing copyright material is different. I have recorded and sold CDs with music by Madonna, The Eagles and The Gypsy Kings. I obtained permission and paid royalties for all the CDs I pressed upfront, simple. If you make copies of copyright material for Youtube, same thing applies, you need permission no matter how bad your performance, if it is a recognisable copy you are infringing someone's copyright.

What if you only copy a bit? Well it depends - how significant is that bit? Impossible to be completely prescriptive, but there are guidelines. We have lawyers to interpret these and there are cases in court all the time about this stuff, the big ones make the headlines.

Of course the law is one thing, and in practice copyright on Youtube is policed automatically by bots as mentioned, so that brings another layer of confusion. Whether you get caught for infringement, or whether you get an unfair strike (there are Youtubers who have received strikes for music they wrote and performed themselves!) will depend on the attitude of the copyright publisher and the effectiveness of the bots amongst other things... Welcome to the Internet :-)
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Old 09-04-2019, 11:16 AM
J-Doug J-Doug is offline
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This discussion is making me feel happy that I took down my soundcloud account, reinforces why I'll never post on youtube and reminds me why I went on an internet diet!
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