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How to Release Cover Songs & Get PAID – Legally


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If celebrities like @justinbieber and @torikelly have taught us anything, it’s that anyone can be discovered if they put their talent out there 📹.

However, not all singers 🎤 and musicians are songwriters ✍️, and sometimes there are existing songs that showcase your talent better than you could have even imagined doing yourself!

That being said, with all of the copyright strikes and infringement cases out there, it would be silly to try to #monetize 💰 covers of copyrighted music 🎼 without understanding the legal side of it.

If you’re looking to grow a fanbase 👥 and get that much closer to stardom ⭐, here are the steps you should take to legally earn money from a covered song:

🌟 Get permission 

As is usually the case with re-using copyrighted material, you should always obtain the license and permissions from the original creator.

Of course, you’re not going to call up 📞 Kanye West and ask to cover “Gold Digger” – but there is a better way.

If you’re going to be selling your cover on a CD 💿, iTunes, or in any other physical or digital manner, you must obtain a mechanical license from a site such as The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) or Easy Song Licensing.  

Services like @spotify, on the other hand, pay rates to the HFA so you don’t have to. Therefore, if you’re only releasing your cover on interactive streaming platforms, you don’t have to worry about obtaining the license.

🌟 Get an ISRC 

An ISRC, or International Standard Recording Code, is a 12-digit code that differentiates your cover from the original song 🎵 and any other covers that have been produced. 

Remember to only obtain an ISRC from one of the approved ☑️ vendors listed here.

🌟 Get paid! 💸

When you record a cover of a song, you will get paid master royalties whenever it’s streamed, sold, played on the radio 📻, or used in a TV show or movie! 

While your payment won’t be nearly as high as if you had produced the song yourself, it’s not a bad start for someone who’s still trying to make it 😉.