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A Resource for the Aspiring Vocalist


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License a Cover Song

Do you need a license?

Whenever you record a song that someone else wrote, you need to get permission from the copyright holders. This is true even if you are giving away your recording. Getting permission involves contacting the copyright holders for each song. The research and dialogue necessary can be difficult and time consuming.

If you have questions or want to know more about the different music license types such as the mechanical and synchronization license first, then please refer to our article about music licensing.

Most countries offer research help through public performance rights organizations, specific agencies that represent music rights holders, and service providers that help with the research and securing of licenses.

Choose your country

^ Canada

In Canada the mechanical and synchronization licenses need to be obtained directly from the copyright holders. However, the Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency Ltd. (CMRRA) issues licenses to manufacturers, people and companies who import sound recording products, online distributors, broadcast media, and video streaming platforms. If you as an artist plan to publish on a third party online service like e.g. iTunes, Spotify, or YouTube it may be possible that the collection of royalties on behalf of the copyright holders is already done through the third party service. Keep in mind that the music catalogue of the CMRRA does not include all music in the world and that some platforms don't participate. Also changes of lyrics and arrangement require additional agreements. A research is therefore necessary.

^ United States

In the United States mechanical and synchronization licenses need to be obtained directly from the copyright holders. Mechanical licenses can not be rejected by law (see Compulsory Mechanical Licensing Law). At Lead Vocals we have partnered with a service provider called Easy Song Licensing, that will help to research and obtain the necessary licenses for a flat rate fee. Find out more about this service below.

If you want to know if a specific song is in the public domain based on copyright laws of the United States, then you may also consider to give the Public Domain Information Project a try.

^ Other Countries

The procedure of how mechanical and synchronization licenses need to be obtained differs from country to country. Find a list of national and international copyright collection societies and companies at Wikipedia as a place to start out.

^ Easy Song Licensing Service

For artists located in the United States we have partnered with Easy Song Licensing, a specialist caring for over 30,000 clients since 2005 (as of 2016). Our partner will take care of every single detail for you for a flat rate fee.

Should you decide to work with Easy Song Licensing, please be so kind to mention Lead Vocals. Thank you.

Choose a topic

Clear any cover song in 1-2 business days with Easy Song Licensing.

Clear any cover song in 1-2 business days with Easy Song Licensing.

^ How it Works

  • Contact Easy Song Licensing to discuss your project and the songs you want to license.
  • For expedited delivery immediate payment is required. Or, you can wait for Easy Song Licensing to research your songs before buying.
  • Easy Song Licensing accepts payment online and over the phone with a credit card.
  • After payment is received Easy Song Licensing will follow the Compulsory Law to obtain your mechanical licensing. Under this law, the copyright holder cannot refuse the license, which makes it possible for them to license 100% of any song. Licenses from Easy Song Licensing never expire.
  • You will get Proof of Licensing in your email in 1-2 business days. The PDF file you will receive is your proof that you have legally cleared your song(s).
  • Your Proof of Licensing is securely and privately saved in your Easy Song Licensing account, and you also have the option to display it publicly for an additional fee.

^ The Difference

  • Legally release your new recording of any song.
  • Obtain 100% of the rights you need, quickly and easily in 1-2 business days.
  • You can talk to a real person who will handle everything for you.
  • You get PDF Proof of Licensing in your email, and each request is securely saved online.
  • Show the world you are legal with the IDBLM Seal of Authenticity
    (optional, $20 per album or single, never expires).

^ Pricing and Fees

  • $14.99 fee per format per song, plus royalties.
  • All royalties go to the copyright holder. Royalties vary by format.
  • Licensing more than just a song or two? Ask about volume discounts.

^ Ready?