View Full Version : Cover of a copyrighted song legal?

07-07-2014, 07:06 PM
Let's say hypothetically the scene is a bar or some diner with karaoke night right, and it's not the focal point, but while two characters are having a conversation in the background there's just some dude singing his ass off to a song, essentially his "cover". Is this legal? and if yes to what certain point? Like what if the karaoke singer was the focal point of the scene?

Fiveacre Films
07-10-2014, 01:38 AM
If a song is recognizable within the film, even if it's just ambient background sound within a scene, you will have to secure the right to use it from the copyright holder. The only exception to this is if the song is in public domain.

02-08-2017, 06:33 PM
Copyright laws are incredibly strict, so everything said above is 100% true. Even if a fraction of the song is recognizable, you would need to get permission from the copyright holder and most likely pay a fee.

04-21-2017, 08:37 AM
If your project is a documentary you may have some wiggle room, but if you are a private business that required you to get permission from the owner, then yes, you need to acquire permission/license from the copyright holder.

- Wolf

Higher Dimension Studios
10-31-2017, 10:52 AM
I would ask the record label and explain your project, they might give you some rights for free.