Covers on album question

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Dr. Sausage
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Covers on album question

Post by Dr. Sausage » Sun Feb 06, 2005 6:37 pm

I want to put a few songs that are covers, but I plan on charging like a dollar or two only to cover costs of manufacturing/shipping. Since I am making no profit from this would I still have to legally be responsible for royalties or anything like that? I'm not worried about it because I won't be selling many if any, but it was just on my mind and got me thinking.

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by Rigsby » Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:34 am

Legally, yes, you're responsible for seeking permission to use the material so that royalties can be sorted out, but if it's small-time you'll probably get away with it.
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Re: Covers on album question

Post by Tim Casey » Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:03 am

If you go to the harry fox agency on the web, you'll learn all you need to know about what you should pay for each cover.

Not paying the fee is illegal.

Paying the fee for most of us who press 100 CDs and give half of them away is stupid. I did an album of Dylan covers and the fee came to something like $1000. I only paid $200 to press the damn thing.

I wish they'd come up with a small run fee (under 5000 copies) so that I wouldn't feel like a criminal (but don't worry - I'll get over it).

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by joelpatterson » Mon Feb 07, 2005 5:03 am

If you don't feel like a criminal, something's wrong with you.

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by Tim Casey » Mon Feb 07, 2005 2:48 pm

Sorry, Joel - do you mean that I should feel like a criminal for having recorded Dylan's songs? I honestly cannot afford $1000 on my income, and I gave most of the CDs away.

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by cgarges » Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:10 pm

Tim Casey wrote:Sorry, Joel - do you mean that I should feel like a criminal for having recorded Dylan's songs? I honestly cannot afford $1000 on my income, and I gave most of the CDs away.
Tell that to Dylan's publishing complany and see if they think you should feel like a criminal. Since they own the songs and you don't, then if they say you should feel like a criminal, you should probably feel like a criminal. If they say you shouldn't worry about it, then you're in the clear, morally.

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megajoe
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Re: Covers on album question

Post by megajoe » Mon Feb 07, 2005 3:13 pm

"A good composer does not imitate; he steals." -Igor Stravincky

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by Tim Casey » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:01 pm

I'll try to get in touch with Dylan. I wouldn't mind sending him $100 (which is a lot for me as a teacher) for the pleasure of playing his songs. However, I think the fee of $1000 was a bit excessive. Nary a penny was made on this venture, so it's not like I'm getting rich on another man's labors. And I'm not taking money out of his record royalties, either.

But I do think there should be a "pittance" schedule in the Harry Fox Agency's pricing structure for short-runs and/or non-profits. I did a church benefit CD for the choir; the pressing cost $400; the royalties came to $1600, and that included arrangements of ancient tunes. That was a big chunk of the fundraising money.

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Re: Covers on album question

Post by cgarges » Mon Feb 07, 2005 7:04 pm

Tim Casey wrote:But I do think there should be a "pittance" schedule in the Harry Fox Agency's pricing structure for short-runs and/or non-profits.
I agree totally.

By the way, it's not Dylan you should be trying to reach, it's his publishing company. Big difference.

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andyg666
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Re: Covers on album question

Post by andyg666 » Tue Feb 08, 2005 6:02 am

if you're making CD-Rs, most dupe houses won't make you get permission to use cover tunes, even though it's illegal. just make sure you put the songwriter on your liner notes, and you're cool in my book. you're not selling these to make a profit, really, so you're not stealing money from people. if you're getting CDs (1000+ usually) you will have to get grant of rights and IRMA forms signed.

in the future, write more original material for your next release.

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