As of January 1st, 2021 (via the Musical Works Modernization Act) - mechanical licensing (cover) is not required for your music to be available on interactive streaming platforms like Spotify and Tidal. Streaming companies will be responsible for paying out all royalties to the publisher themselves. If you don't have a mechanical license for your cover music for a release (acquired from Harry Fox Agency, Easy Song Licensing, etc.) - then you can submit for Streaming Services ONLY.
What is a “Stream”?
|A stream is when someone listens to your song(s) via a streaming service like Spotify, Deezer, Tidal, etc.
What is a “Download”?
|A download is when your music is digitally downloaded by someone who pays for your specific song(s).
If you acquire a mechanical license then you are able to release your cover music to all platforms, including download platforms such as Amazon and iTunes.
If you do not have a mechanical license, DO NOT select stores that provide downloads e.g. Apple Music, Amazon Music or YouTube Music. Facebook/Instagram may also reject your cover music upon their review. These platforms are not eligible because they also operate and offer downloads or require sync rights.
Here's how to submit a cover song through Songtradr:
- Login to your Songtradr dashboard
- Click the Distribution tab in the left navigation menu
- Click “New Single” or “New Album” to add the release title to begin
- At the Songs stage of the distribution process, select which song you will be distributing
- Open up the Song Editor
- Mark the song a Cover in the Recording Version dropdown
- Confirm that you have acquired a mechanical license and select Yes, this song is a cover and I confirm I've acquired a mechanical license.
- Enter the original writers/composers in the Copyright Holders section
**You will still need a license if you choose to make the cover available on your personal website, Soundcloud, etc., or choose to distribute via a physical format like CD or Vinyl.
***In addition, these songs will also NOT be eligible for licensing and sync services via the Songtradr platform if you don't have full rights to monetize.
***Covers of Indian Copyrighted Material:
Unlike our general guidelines for releasing a cover song, with the amendment of Section 31C of the 2012 Indian Copyright Act, it is mandatory for artists to obtain a statutory license.
As per the Copyright Rules, 2013, Chapter 7 Rules 23 - 28 provides the procedure which needs to be followed to get the statutory license for Cover version.