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How to pay royalties?


marczellm

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Suppose that I'm an independent Hungarian artist with some recordings of song covers. The original artists are US based. (The genre is worship if it makes any difference.) I would like to put my recordings online so that people can hear it.

 

The first option I'm considering is a website like SoundCloud where people can listen for free. The second is some arrangement where people can stream them and I earn some money, either because of the listeners are paying or because they get served ads.

 

And then I hit this solid wall where there doesn't seem to be any available info on how I could do that legally. Even though I'm the one looking to pay people for their work.

 

What do I need? A lawyer? A publisher? A contract? A business entity?

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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I don't know about the international aspect, but at least in the U.S., there are services who will distribute your digital releases (to itunes, amazon, etc.) and can also clear the copyright issue for you for your covers. For example, see..

 

https://distrokid.desk.com/customer/en/portal/articles/1329164-can-i-upload-cover-songs-

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In the USA, Harry Fox agency is the one that I know of which allows you to pay for being able to distribute audio copies (not video) of your band's cover performances. They have different rates based on whether you all allowing the user to download a copy (or a CD copy), versus listening while streaming.

 

The Harry Fox agency web site includes a page which is supposed to list similar agencies in other nations, but the link they list for Hungary does not appear to be correct:

 

https://www.harryfox.com/license_music/foreign_rights_societies.html

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If you arent making money by selling downloads then it seems that its a fair use issue. No lisencing necessary. If it is a for sale product then it needs to be lisenced through harry fox. Thats why there are so many covers on youtube. Im not a lawyer so ......ect and so on.

FunMachine.

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The trick is - unless it's changed - Harry Fox only covers recordings MADE in the USA. Since you're in Hungary, it is possible that your versions would not qualify. It's also possible that Harry Fox doesn't represent the songs you are planning on covering. In that case, write to the publisher(s) of the songs you want to release and negotiate independent agreements with them if necessary.

 

You can also do hidden tracks on Bandcamp so that only the originals show and all the covers are extra full album download candy.

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If you arent making money by selling downloads then it seems that its a fair use issue. No lisencing necessary. If it is a for sale product then it needs to be lisenced through harry fox. Thats why there are so many covers on youtube. Im not a lawyer so ......ect and so on.

 

Sorry, no. Whether you're charging money or not is irrelevant.

 

Busch.

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Hungary apparently does reciprocate (bilateral) with the US with regard to copyright law.

 

"Hungary · Bilateral Oct. 16, 1912; Berne (Paris) Feb. 14, 1922; UCC Geneva Jan. 23, 1971; UCC Paris July 10, 1974; Phonograms May 28, 1975; WTO Jan. 1, 1995; WCT Mar. 6, 2002; WPPT May 20, 2002"

 

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wppt/

 

In the US via Harry Fox - where you seek permission to record another artist's work and produce recordings (be it physical media or digital download) you would be requesting a mechanical license.

https://www.harryfox.com/license_music/what_is_mechanical_license.html

 

"...a foreign licensee of digital reproductions can obtain mechanical licenses from HFA in order to distribute those digital reproductions in the U.S., regardless of the country in which the computer server transmitting the digital reproductions is located.

 

HFA does not issue mechanical licenses for physical products that are manufactured outside of the U.S. These types of products require an import license in order to be distributed in U.S. territories."

 

In Hungary you would look to a foreign rights society,

https://www.harryfox.com/license_music/foreign_rights_societies.html

 

For Hungary:

ARTISJUS

https://www.artisjus.hu

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I checked the Artisjus website. It seems that they would require me to obtain a permission somehow from the original composer, or the music publisher representing them. Quote (translated):

 

We call it a "rework" when the new performance includes new compositional aspects. In this case you have to obtain permission from the original author before registering your composition at Artisjus. Often the author is represented by a music publisher, which may have a representative in Hungary that can help you to obtain the permission.

 

We call it an "arrangement" when the chord progression, melody, lyrics are not changed, but smaller technical changes are made, such as a different guitar tone or leaving out parts. This does not constitute compositional activity and therefore no permission from the original author is needed. Your version does not have to be registered with Artisjus, and we will automatically transfer royalties to the original authors after performances.

So what, I just look up which label the artist published on and write them an email?

 

Another question. The DistroKid website does not have a Terms and Conditions, which could state that its services are only available for people living or products made in the US. Maybe I should try it?

Life is subtractive.
Genres: Jazz, funk, pop, Christian worship, BebHop
Wishlist: 80s-ish (synth)pop, symph pop, prog rock, fusion, musical theatre
Gear: NS2 + JUNO-G. KingKORG. SP6 at church.

 

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