Can I Put My New Song on My CD?
Many people have become fans of a particular artist and have requested a song for inclusion into their repertoire. The first question that most often arises is, “Can I legally copy and distribute this song under any circumstance?” This is one of the most common questions that I face from aspiring artists. This article will address some of the legal issues pertaining to music and ownership.
One way to determine whether or not you are able to use a new song for your own purposes is to consult a license agreement between you and the artist. Many music publishers and artists have licensing agreements in place. If you are unable to locate a license agreement, check with the U.S. Copyright Office for the current definition of fair use. The last thing an artist or publisher wants is for you to use their song in a manner which would constitute re-use or sampling. If your new song is not licensed, you may still be able to use it in a parody or in other non-profit media, as long as you don’t require the use of the original recording (i.e., use in an instructional video, public speech, etc. ).
If you have permission, you are free to record and distribute new songs for any reason. However, if you are using a new song which you acquired from someone else, you should give that person the proper credit for their creation. This will help protect the rights of the person who created the new song as well as help maintain their reputation. Recording and distributing music for commercial purposes is considered a public activity. This means that you are required by law to credit the person who originated the new song.