Do I need a license for cover songs

Do I need a license for cover songs

zf-x_gs7iwvsh

I read somewhere Spotify pays for covers. Is it necessary to get licenses to release cover songs if I plan to only release them on Spotify? For example if I recorded my own cover of blink 182s "what's my age again" and credit the original authors in the Metadata, do I need to buy a mechanical license to release it exclusively on Spotify 

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5 Replies

zidders

It's always necessary to get permission from the artist (or more commonly the artists label) to perform a cover. You usually need to pay a performance fee and if you're going to cover it for an album there's licensing fees and all kinds of other things you need to look into. My suggestion is instead of asking Spotify you should talk to a copyright lawyer who specializes in music. I'm not totally sure how Spotify works as far as the covers that show up on their service but usually those are licensed from labels that have them licensed as part of a compilation. It's a messy business but one thing's for sure if you go uploading your cover of someone else's song without the artist or their labels permission you're asking for trouble. 

Motherbrain

What about this article stating that Spotify already takes care of the mechanical license?

 

https://www.digitalmusicnews.com/2015/03/25/watch-harry-fox-loudr-coming/

Mario

Hey @zf-x_gs7iwvsh and @Motherbrain,

 

Thanks for reaching out about this and the info you shared!

 

There's also a chance to arrange the release of a cover through your label or distributor, like in this case. 

 

Hope you'll find this useful. We'll be here if there's anything else we can help with 🙂

Mario Moderator
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Azha

I read that Spotify pays HFA for the mechanical license for songs used on their platform in the United States, so you do not have to worry about securing a mechanical license if you’re only releasing to Spotify.
Is this true?
This is the source: https://www.tuneregistry.com/blog/how-to-legally-record-and-sell-a-cover-song-in-3-steps

Mihail

Hey @Azha,

 

Thanks for searching for the answer you need here.

 

We recommend that you reach out to your distributor to get detailed info on all licensing questions you might have.

 

Alternatively you can contact our Support Team for artists here. They'll happily help you out further.

 

Keep us posted. We're always one reply away.

Mihail Moderator
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