Will It Be Illegal To Cover Songs?

from the is-that-a-popular-tune-you're-humming? dept

According to this post at LawMeme, over in India, they’re debating a bill that would make it illegal to cover a song without express permission from the copyright holder. They’re doing this because producers in India will apparently produce cover songs of popular albums, and then sell them at a discount – sometimes (illegally) underreporting units sold for the purpose of paying royalties back to the original artist. Next thing you know, the music industry will start going after garage bands as they try to play some cover tunes. At what point does the ridiculousness stop? Will we have to pay royalties before we’re allowed to sing along in the car? Are you daring to hum a song without the recording industry’s permission?

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Comments on “Will It Be Illegal To Cover Songs?”

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Anonymous coward says:

Covers = compulsory licensing

Yo! At least in the US, covered songs (which you seem to favor) are a case of mandatory licensing (which you’re against). It appears to work the same way in India, judging by the refernece to “sometimes (illegally) underreporting units sold for the purpose of paying royalties back to the original artist.”

Why is mandatory licensing good for covered songs but not for other things?

Anonymous coward says:

Re: Re: Covers = compulsory licensing

Well, what do you think about song covers? Based on the wording of the original item it certainly sound like you think the proposed Indian law is a bad idea. If you don’t think covers should require permission of the original writer, and you don’t think compulsory licensing is a good idea, what’s left besides no copyright on songs?
I’d like to know what the rule should be about covering songs. Maybe there’s an alternative I’ve missed.

Mike (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Covers = compulsory licensing

Why rely on copyright?

Why not rely on your ability to make music better? Or admit that others might be able to make your music better.

As an example, look at the story of a bassist who decided to add bass lines to songs by the band the White Stripes. You can also see more about that story in this video.

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