Covers and Parodies

Copyright matters affecting music and musicians.
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burnoutbob
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Covers and Parodies

Post by burnoutbob » Wed May 06, 2009 3:11 pm

Hello all.

I wonder if anyone can help. My band have recently written a few parodies of certain songs, in a "same-music-but-different-lyrics" kind of way. Nothing derogatory about the original artist or original track.

Due to it being difficult to cut vocals out of a commercial recording, we've re-recorded the whole thing, and are thinking of taking it to a recording studio to be done properly, with the eventual view of selling copies of the CD at gigs and via our own website.

I've searched for information on this for weeks now, and all I can find is details of US law regarding it, not UK (we're UK based). I've also found plently of sources telling me that it's not the same here as the US, but nothing to explicitly state where the law stands on this, and also what are the requirements. I contected the Musicians Union, and they refused me any information unless I joined, as did the MCPRS.

Could someone help on this matter?

Also, we've been working on a few cover versions of songs too. I've been told I'd need permission to record and release these, and that I'd also have to pay royalties, but I'm at a loss as where to start. Again, the MCPRS were less than helpful on this matter. It seems that unless you're willing to join these organizations, they just don't want to know.

I hope someone can help.

Thank you.

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CopyrightAid
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Post by CopyrightAid » Thu May 07, 2009 5:00 pm

I'm surprised that the MCPS are so unhelpful. I would have thought they would want to help you, in fact they would have been one of the places I'd recommend that you contact on this.

Bottom line is yes, you would need permission if you are going to release this, and you should expect to pay royalties on every copy you sell.

Given the lack of help you've have, I would suggest that the best place to contact is the publishers of the songs you will be using. They will certainly know who to contact and how to arrange permission (after all they must have permission themselves ;) ) and they may be able to sort something out directly, or if not, they will certainly be able to put you in touch with the agent that deal with these matters for their artists.

burnoutbob
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Post by burnoutbob » Thu May 07, 2009 5:17 pm

Thank you for your help.

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