Why do I need a Performance License to put a cover song on Bandcamp?

Bobo Fret

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So...why do I need a Performance License to put a cover song on Bandcamp?

Doesn't make a lot sense to me on the face of it. They told me that I would need a mechanical and performance license for posting covers songs. I've got the mechanical (and synchronization) license, but I'm not really sure how to go about getting a performance license.

I looked on BMI, etc., but it's not blatantly obvious where to look on their websites to get one. Perhaps you have to join first to have those options? I started to sign up for a BMI account but bailed once I was prompted for my SS#. I'm not sure I feel comfortable forking over my SS# to a place like BMI? I still get palpatations when I have to give it to a doctor's office.

Happy Super Bowl!
 
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So...why do I need a Performance License to put a cover song on Bandcamp?

Doesn't make a lot sense to me on the face of it. They told me that I would need a mechanical and performance license for posting covers songs. I've got the mechanical (and synchronization) license, but I'm not really sure how to go about getting a performance license.



Go to the Harry Fox Agency website and see if the song you want to cover is listed there. It probably is. There is another licensing outfit whose name I can't remember right now, that also does this kind of thing.

Any time I have posted a cover on BC, I have successfully obtained all licensing from HFA.






I'm not sure I feel comfortable forking over my SS# to a place like BMI?

Do you write and/or perform original music? If you want to collect royalties for it, you will have to give your SSN to a PRO.


You don't go to BMI to obtain a license to cover something, though.
 
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Bobo Fret

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In fact, I used Harry Fox's Songfile site to get my mechanical and synchronization licenses. I just don't see any specific option for a performance license. Unless they're calling it something else that I can't identify as equivalent. I had contacted them a couple days ago but no response yet. I did see a link on the HFA site for a performance license that takes you to a FAQ page that is completely empy. Big fat help that is.

Yeah, I write my own stuff - almost entirely. I just happen to have a few covers that I'm sticking on an album of tunes that make the cut for my recent "real" album. So this new project is some covers, alternate versions, unreleased stuff, etc., etc. Basically, detritus.

That's not what BMI does. Guess I'm confused about what they are/do. My bad.

Loudr looks interesting. I'll poke around there.
 
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Are you sure you didn't get exactly what you needed from HFA? It's been a while since I posted a cover, but BC gave me no trouble with the licenses I got from HFA.
 

Bobo Fret

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Nope...totally unsure. In fact that was part of my email to them. Seems to me I should be covered based on the verbal description of the licenses I purchased, but it doesn't EXPLICITLY mention performance license anywhere, so I'm not 100% sure I have what I need. I just want to make sure we're not talking about the same thing using different vocabulary.

Has anybody made out ok posting cover songs to BC with a synch and mechanical license in their back pocket?
 

Celticdave

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While I agree songwriters should get their cut, all of these licenses are getting out of control. I've known of a few people who covered my songs live and I didn't throw a fit, in fact, I was honored, humbled, and it made me want to write more. I don't mind if they cover my song on any of the those sites - SoundCloud, YouTube, etc, as long as they're sharing any cash they make from it.

For years and years, we've all pulled from the same 12 notes. What makes us unique is how we present them.
 
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While I agree songwriters should get their cut, all of these licenses are getting out of control. I've known of a few people who covered my songs live and I didn't throw a fit, in fact, I was honored, humbled, and it made me want to write more. I don't mind if they cover my song on any of the those sites - SoundCloud, YouTube, etc, as long as they're sharing any cash they make from it.

For years and years, we've all pulled from the same 12 notes. What makes us unique is how we present them.



Um, licensing is not out of control.

It’s actually a pretty simple matter and I think the OP is just a bit confused.


If you don’t want to be paid for your work, fine, but how dare you propose to speak for anyone else.
 

Celticdave

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Um, licensing is not out of control.

It’s actually a pretty simple matter and I think the OP is just a bit confused.


If you don’t want to be paid for your work, fine, but how dare you propose to speak for anyone else.

Whoah, slow down. I'm not saying I don't want to paid for my work. I thought I made that pretty clear towards the end of my post. I'm just not going to hunt down and kill someone's vibe because they like my song enough to post a cover of it, especially on a medium where no income is being generated.

I only speak for myself.
 

Bobo Fret

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I emailed Loudr, and they said that for performance licenses in the U.S., I'd have to contact BMI, ASCAP, or SESAC. I already have reached out to 2 out of the 3 within the last few days. I had also contacted Global Music Rights. Hopefully answers will be forthcoming.
 




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