Recording a cover

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TenaciousBe
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Recording a cover

Postby TenaciousBe » Wed Dec 26, 2012 5:56 pm

Looking for advice from people who have done this before. I have a slow, ballady acoustic cover of the 80's pop hit Take On Me, by A-Ha, that I put together and absolutely adore. And while thinking about recording a 4 song digital EP to put out on Bandcamp and maybe burn a few CDs to give away to people, the thought crossed my mind of doing that cover on the EP as a way to, for one, share something that I love playing in more than just a live setting, and two, to maybe grab some more attention than 4 originals would. However, the legalities of it make it a tricky slope.

I've googled on it, I've found some various legal advice and ways to go about trying to get a license to put out a cover. But my question is, from those of you who have recorded covers before... is it worth it? Have you gone to the trouble of getting the license, or just put it out there and hope it doesn't get famous enough to get noticed by anyone who would throw a red flag? I'm certainly nothing special, none of my youtube videos have more than barely 100 views, so it's not like famous people are taking notice. But is it better to be safe than sorry? If someone in the right position were to find it, what sort of legal action could they take?

On a similar note, do those of you doing amateur indy recordings bother paying for a copyright for your songs? Or just put them out there trusting that nobody will steal your material?
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mastermyx
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby mastermyx » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:19 pm

I thought if you weren't profiting/selling copies for money, you are free and clear to record and present cover material?

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TenaciousBe
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby TenaciousBe » Wed Dec 26, 2012 6:24 pm

Nope, even if you're just giving it away, there still needs to be a license involved when recording. I do know that much. Just wondering about the ramifications of not doing so. Worst they can probably do, I suppose, is make you take it down. But still, given the government's hardon for copyright law and anti-piracy business lately, I wouldn't be surprised if they did more.
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QwikSand
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby QwikSand » Wed Dec 26, 2012 10:18 pm

This is the site I have read over and over again about this same issue. I haven't done it yet but my goal is to do exactly the same thing. Hope it helps.

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TenaciousBe
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby TenaciousBe » Fri Dec 28, 2012 4:14 pm

Thanks guys. Still undecided, might be something I should just hold off on and avoid the hassle either way. If I really need a 4th song to put out, I could also draw back on some of my old band's songs and resurrect one of those. Or just sack up and get another one written. :lol If I'm going to fancy myself an acoustic artist, I may need to whip myself into shape and learn to write more than a couple of songs in a year.
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itaughttremonti
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby itaughttremonti » Sat Dec 29, 2012 7:52 pm

If there a chance you make a dime, in any direct or indirect way...I would get the license. Even if you give out the disc to a bar for free and say, "hey, give this a play or two sometime" and they do play it, they as an establishment have to report what songs were played in their facilities and pay a fee. In this case, it doesn't matter that you performed the song, in the reported fees, the songwriter gets the cut. So say your favorite dive gives it a play and the songwriter figures out your using his song to further your brand, he might come after ya, depending on his doucheness level.
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Crumbso
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Re: Recording a cover

Postby Crumbso » Sun Dec 30, 2012 1:41 am

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4qvohPpX5uY

I posted this about 2 years or so ago and I don't think you'll ever have any problems without selling it. If you're lucky you might even be noticed by fans of A-ha and whatnot.

Go for it.
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