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We are recording a Cover of Rhianna’s song STAY, on our upcoming album, and I needed info on Mechanical Licensing i.e. paying fees to original songwriter for using their song on CD/LP.  STAY was written by Ecko and Parker and sung by Rhianna.

1. The clearest article came from Soundfly by Zoe Young on Mechanical licencing and Synchronization licensing, for CD/LP, Youtube, and little bit on live playing of Covers including links to spots to obtain licences.
We have to give dues to our fellow musicians.
This article makes it really clear.

2. Also got a great reply from CD Baby rep. Read on. Similar info and links to Zoe.

“Thanks for reaching out to us!

All cover songs sold in the USA need licenses bought from the publisher who holds the rights to the songwriting. You need these licenses in advance to legally sell CDs or digital downloads.

For Download sales: The licenses come in “bundles” for how many you think you will sell for a certain amount of time. You would watch your sales history for USA sales in your CD Baby accounting section. Once you have sold as many copies of your songs as you have purchased licenses, then you need to order more.

For CDs: You should buy as many licenses per cover song as you have printed CDs (for example, if you printed 100 CDs, you should buy 100 licenses).

The two licensing services that CD Baby recommends are “Easy Song Licensing” and “Loudr”. They offer similar services, with Easy Song Licensing having more of a CD Baby style customer service experience.

If you have not bought the necessary licenses, you can use either of the above links to get started. These companies do all the contacting of publishing companies for you so you don’t have to work with a bunch of different companies to get all the necessary licensing.

We can’t send you out to our digital partner companies until you have those licenses. Once you have the licenses, you will need to use the information on those licenses to input the correct songwriter and publisher information on the Track Menu/Track Information section of your submission.

You only need licenses to sell downloads in the USA. In the rest of the countries we distribute to, the stores themselves take care of paying out the publishing companies. So you only need to buy for USA sales, and only need to count digital sales from the USA. That said, unless a digital distributor is specified to be NOT a US store (For example, ITunes UK, Amazon DE, etc), you should assume that the sale is for a US sale.

Furthermore, in most cases you do NOT need to purchase licenses for STREAMS. At least, not for purposes of distribution to our streaming distribution partners.

Once you have licenses (or if you already do), please enter the publishing company info from your licenses into the publishers field in the Tracks section of the Title Overview page. Once this is completed, we can start moving your music forward towards being available on CDBaby and though our digital partner sites. After you finish your edits, please click “Back to Title Overview” then click “Re-submit for distribution”. This will resubmit your title to the inspection queue.

Nate D.

CD Baby Artist Services”

“because i said i would”

Rounding up all the tools available to help you legally release and perform cover songs.

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"because i said i would"