FAQ - I am interested in starting a band and am unsure of the procedure regarding performing cover songs.
You can perform any song you want- but, if you record a song and then sell the recording (CDs, MP3s, etc.), you’ll need a mechanical license.
“You are free to perform songs that are in general release without permission of the writer or publisher. If you choose to record the song and sell the music, then you would be required to obtain a mechanical license from the publisher or the publishers representative.”
- J.W. Johnson, Artist Relations Executive & Songwriter101 Faculty Member
If I was going to produce a compilation of say 20 classic rock songs. Is my only responsibility to obtain the mechanical license from the 20 publisher or publisher’s rep and pay BMI the money due for the royality which in 2004 was rate is 8.5 cents per song or 1.65 cents per minute, whichever is greater per CD made or is it sild??? THis is something I have very much been interested in doing.
I want to start a band, is there a place I can advertise for band members?
You can pay a “Mechanical License” fee to Harry Fox Agency for a specific number of units you intend to manufacture. 1,000 CD’s for example. http://www.harryfoxagency.com
You would not pay a Performance Rights Agency. If your version of the songs gets airplay on radio or other revenue-generating venues, the PRO’s would collect fees from them to pay royalties.
If you want to start a band you need to advertise locally, unless you have the financial wherewithal to travel and pick up members from other locations.