Covers licenses management 0 0

If you distribute a cover to all channels, we recommend you provide a license that allows you to do it. Omziki Distribution QC team may create a ticket to recommend this license. Why it is recommended to provide a license in these cases and what happens if it is not provided? Given the new legislation related to the MLC* which became effective in 2021, the requirement of a license for covers on certain cases (especially streaming), is not mandatory anymore in the American territory. Despite the fact that this is not an international paradigm, its appearance forces us to review our current licensing processes. Therefore, from this moment, in case there is a release with covers to be distributed, the QC team may ask for a license, without thereby supposing an obligation, but more like a recommendation. The reasons why the licenses will still be recommended are the following:

  1. We recommend still providing them for download platforms since the flexible legal terms are related to streaming platforms
  2. The original authors of the content can exercise their right to prevent the publication of any version or reinterpretation of their opus.

Both cases can cause the takedown of the distributed content or the claim from the DSPs. The transformations (medleys, lyrical or compositional changes, translations, use of original masters, etc.) may still require a license that can be obtained as official permission from the editor of the original piece.

What should the license look like?

  • COMPULSORY LICENSES: these are licenses that should look like the attachment of this article.
  • CUSTOM LICENSES: these are licenses that are issued by both parts involved (owner of the original piece and owner of the cover), and must include, at least,  the following:
    • Name of the person who is making the cover
    • Name of the original piece artist
    • Publisher of the original song
    • Signature of the original author, or at least the publisher, and the person who is making the cover.

Where can I get a license if needed?

*Extra information about the MLC

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is a nonprofit organization created to administer blanket mechanical licenses to eligible DSPs in the U.S., and to pay the resulting royalties to songwriters, composers, lyricists, and publishers. It is having a major effect on the way that covers are managed by all agents in the industry since this system allows DSPs to easily license musical works’ reproduction and distribution rights through a more transparent system, making them liable for the licensing process. Unfortunately, it exclusively operates on the commercialization DSPs make of any given cover in the US territory only, as long as the appropriate authors are correctly listed by the MLC.

** The time is base on America/New_York timezone