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The Cost of Penalties vs. Licensing

Published at: 05/28/2021

You just laid out a fresh cover track of one of your favorite band's songs. It sounds great and your fans are going to dig it. You can't wait to share it with them. We get it! You've uploaded your track and set a release date. But have you secured a license yet?

Copyright infringement occurs when a copyrighted work is reproduced, distributed, performed, publicly displayed, or made into a derivative work without the permission of the copyright owner. If you’ve been distributing your cover without a mechanical license, you are on the hook for up to $150,000 for each work infringed, plus all court costs.

You could also be served a "DMCA Notice and Take Down” where your song is taken offline at request of the publisher. This will likely negatively affect your relationship with your distribution partner, and at the very least require you to go through the submission process again once the song is properly licensed.