Tuesday, June 3, 2008

A can of worms

Well, it turns out that legally recording original lyrics to copyrighted music is the same as recording a "cover" of the song. I'm looking into obtaining permission to use the background music for my three (yes, one more than you may have been aware of) parodies.

The big advantage of using someone else's music is that the song is already a hit, and people know the melody. The down side is that I would have to pay royalties on each and every copy that I give away or sell.

The big advantage of writing my own music/lyrics is that I would own all the rights to the songs and wouldn't have to pay anyone else for the privilege of using their stuff. I would also be free to distribute them as I see fit. The big downside is coming up with all that material...lol.

The point may be moot, as I've cut the songs that I've been thinking about and will have to dream up more lyrics. We'll see...


Waradwen said...

What? Seriously? That sucks. Way to be friendly to your customers, record companies.

gamedame said...

Dax, let me know how this ends up because I'd like to feature it on WoW Insider -- don't let anyone scoop me! -- but I don't want to get you in trouble. So let me know when you make your final decision.

Bill said...

Dunno, but I have always been under the impression that parodies of songs are free from copyright restrictions. They are protected as a form of free speech, tho if you sell the songs that may change things. (Wouldn't it be hard for Weird Al to put out anything if he had to pay for every song tho?) Now, I'm not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV, but a quick call to a real one (maybe your local ACLU office) may clear up your rights and get this stuff out there for the masses to enjoy :)

Daxenos said...

Well, the royalty fee is a mere $.085 per copy, so artists would still be able to make money by covering songs.

I'm still reading up on the differences between a Mechanical license and a Digital license, but from what I've read so far, I have to estimate the number of copies and make that payment up front (1000 copies = $85).

Then, as I sell/distribute copies, I keep track of them and am good up to the estimate. After I meet the number I've estimated, I'm not sure of the process...still reading.

BigBearButt said...

Okay, this really does scare the hell out of me... especially since, as you know, we didn't charge anything before I put it out for download, and I don't think I ahve access to pull it from FileFront. I could notify them though to pull it, I bet.

It would be one thing if you were charging like a nickel a download, and could use that to pay for the rights, but free = out of pocket. Yikes!