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No, no and no.Originally posted by amper
You need to find out who owns the rights to the song and then get permission from them to record it. The rights are usually retained by the songwriter, which may or may not be Dylan. I'm not certain off hand where you would go about discovering the rightholder, but the first three places I'd look are the Library of Congress, ASCAP, and BMI.
No, what I meant was that one of those three organizations might be able to help you track down the rightholder.Originally posted by straticus
So do I just email the LoC, ASCAP or BMI and ask if they hold the copyright?
I'm really lost here about exactly what to do next and how to go about it.
Great link. Thanks!Originally posted by amper
No, what I meant was that one of those three organizations might be able to help you track down the rightholder.
Check out this link:
This is correct. I remember now, trying to track down a couple of old tunes we did on our CD just in case they were protected. Turns out they were public domain.Originally posted by GuitslingerTim
anyone covering a song by the author can contact the Harry Fox Agency and pay them a preset fee.
Yeah and that's totally fine. We don't mind paying. I'm just wondering if we should copyright our version of it. Is that the proper thing to do? I mean, do people copyright their version of someone else's song?Originally posted by Chiba
Even if the version is vastly different sounding, you still didn't WRITE the lyrics - you just came up with a different musical arrangement.
You still have to pay
Thanks very much.Originally posted by LSchefman
Amper is incorrect, and Michael is correct. You have the right to cover any tune you like, as long as you pay the "compulsory" mechanical royalty, which was recently raised to 8.5 cents per song.
This is Federal law since 1909 or so.
The Harry Fox Agency can deal with the royalty payments. You do not need the permission of the writers. You do NOT need to track down the copyright holder to obtain permission.
Do NOT attempt to file a copyright on someone else's song. That could be regarded as infringement, and expose you to serious claims for incredibly large damages.
You can copyright a RECORDING as a compilation, but make sure you correctly credit the authors of each song. There is a form for it on the Library of Congress website. And under the Digital Music Distribution Act, as an artist you can receive a download performance royalty even if you recorded someone else's song.
If you have questions about any of this, contact your entertainment lawyer. If you need one, call me, and I will try to help you locate someone. I practice in the area of entertainment law, but it's best to use someone in your own state. There are lots of folks I can recommend in California.
Originally posted by LSchefman
I know how confusing copyright law can be. Even most lawyers don't really understand it.