The creation and exploitation of cover versions and all types of remixes that make use of 3rd party sound recordings need to be licensed by the copyright owners of the original piece. DSPs expect distribution partners to be aware of the content they deliver and to be proactive in verifying that all sound recordings are properly licensed.
Due to a flood of unauthorized versions, the DSPs are acting firmly to track and remove such content. So here's what you need to know about distributing remixes.
EXAMPLES OF VERSIONS THAT NEED TO BE LICENSED:
- Sped-up/slowed-down versions
- Reverbed, lofi and distorted versions
- TikTok versions
- Mashup versions
- Remix, edit, or any kind of version that is different from the original one
- Cover versions (unless they are only distributed to Apple & Spotify and exclusively for the US — this case is now covered by the MLC’s mandate)
WHAT LICENSE IS NEEDED TO DISTRIBUTE 3RD PARTY MATERIAL?
When an artist creates a version of someone else’s song, they need to have the following licenses from its owners/exclusive licensors:
- Master recording license (if any part of the original recording is used — regardless of duration)
- Publishing license for the use of the lyrics/composition (such as in a cover version)
- Mechanical license for the right to duplicate the song (for streaming and downloads)
Note: in many cases, the record label that owns the original song is able to cover all the above licenses.
HOW TO AVOID COPYRIGHT INFRINGEMENT ON MY ACCOUNT?
- Communicate with your clients and make sure they understand this issue
- Thoroughly review the content that you distribute
- Review top-performing content to ensure it is completely original or properly
- Look specifically for track title or version names such as:
- Sped up / Slowed down
- Artist name A X artist name B
POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES FOR DISTRIBUTING UNLICENSED CONTENT:
- Prevention of payment by Revelator/DSPs for infringing content
- Disabled distribution for the client and/ or their end users
- Takedown of infringing content by Revelator/DSPs
- Termination of the client’s and/ or their end user’s account
If you have any questions, please feel free to write us at email@example.com