Making a cover version of a song... what type of license?

I already know that when one is making a cover version of some copyrighted song (and is singing and playing music himself (that's the point!) while recording) for a physical or digital release, he will simply need a corresponding type of a license (mechanical license.. etc)And when he takes an already existing piece of a sound recording (for example, a karaoke version or a sample of a sound recording placed in another recording or mixed), he needs to get a "master use" license, because he is using the sounds that are NOT played by him.Well, I've got a cover version recorded like this - me singing alongside with an already existing song performed by a famous artist. Just singing along. And I got it recorded. And I want to put it on the Internet. What license should I get to make it legal?


Asked over 6 years ago in California
Categories: Entertainment & Media Law

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Laura Drossman

Answer by Laura Drossman

Not VerifiedCalifornia lawyer

You need to secure a sync license in order to use the lyrics and music but not a specific version (as recorded by the notable recording artist or otherwise) and also need a master license (aka a "master recording license") to use the particular prerecorded version of the song you are seeking to use in your new collaborative recording. NOTE: This is a very general statement based solely on the information provided in your question and should not be relied upon as legal advice without further consultation with a licensed attorney.

Posted over 6 years ago

Please note that this is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice to you. Legal advice pertaining to your particular situation can only be provided by a lawyer who has met with you to obtain all pertinent background information necessary to give you a formal legal opinion. For formal legal advice, hire a lawyer (many give a free first consultation). Contact Laura Drossman, or search the Lawyer Directory.

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