Permission to Play Covers


compart1
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Joined: 06/27/09
Posts: 1,410
Does anyone know the process to obtain permission to play covers.
The reason I ask is a club that my friends son band plays at was sited for the band covering some ones song. The show was shot by a fan and uploaded to internet. Only club was sited. Now they must sign a release with the club so the club is not responsible for what they play.
So Bands beware.. I hope the results of this quirry keeps a few guitarist out of trouble..
# 1
maggior
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Joined: 01/27/13
Posts: 1,723
Normally the venue hosting the cover band will have a license that would cover that. This license would also cover music played from a jukebox, radio, etc. These would be BMI, ASCAP, and SESAC licenses.

The problem comes in where video is handled by a completely separate and different type of license.

You can record a cover and sell it with a "mechanical" license. This doesn't cover public performance or video as I recall.

Here are links that Christopher Schlagel had in another thread on the topic:
http://www.easysonglicensing.com/
https://www.harryfox.com/public/songfile.jsp

You are right...this is something you have to be aware of as a cover band.

I don't know how the venue could be held responsible for somebody that recorded video in the audience and posted it on the Internet. I would think the individual should be held liable...but the venue probably has deeper pockets. Wow!
# 2
compart1
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Joined: 06/27/09
Posts: 1,410
Thanks Rich.. Hopefully they won't have that problem again.
# 3
john of MT
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Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 1,381
I think the venue assumes royalty risk when it charges for admission for the music show...perhaps even if its a freebie with no cover charge.

When the licensing/royalty agencies choose to enforce their rights it can really cut down on the live music scene. See this sad Missoula-region story from two and a half years ago; http://ravallirepublic.com/news/local/article_cac3fb30-8104-11e1-b252-0019bb2963f4.html . Venues end up shutting down the music, local (small) musicians don't get royalties, and the agencies don't seem to care...
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 4
JeffS65
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Joined: 10/07/08
Posts: 1,599
The unwritten rule is that cover bands and clubs would never have an issue doing cover songs. I mean, the cover band thing is pretty much at every club ever....

I alway get a little surprised when an artist, publishing company etc do this kinda thing. It's pretty dumb. A band playing a cover song is fee advertising for that song.
# 5
john of MT
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Joined: 10/08/09
Posts: 1,381
I agree, it seems to be a dumb move. I wonder how the song writers and musicians being covered feel about it. From what little I've read there seems to be a split in those groups' opinions.

As the above article points out, the forgiveness of royalties may be not so much an 'unwritten rule' as it is conscious (or not) non-enforcement by the licensing agencies.
"It takes a lot of devotion and work, or maybe I should say play, because if you love it, that's what it amounts to. I haven't found any shortcuts, and I've been looking for a long time."
-- Chet Atkins
# 6