Also, just want to point out, make sure you have permission from the artist to actually cover the song.
It's a lot more complicated than just asking when we're talking about established musicians unfortunately. A lot of songs rights are owned by the publishers or performing rights agencies and not the artists themselves. They are usually 100% unwilling to just "give permission" and will instead demand to be paid. Some songs are available for mechanical licensing, which costs around 10$ for the license and then around 8 cents royalty per copies sold. If the songs is not available for mechanical licensing, you need to deal with the publisher directly and it will be a similar process with similar costs.
So let's say your compilation has 10 songs, and all songs are up for mechanical licenses. You need to pay 100$ upfront for licensing costs, and then pay advance royalties on an estimated number of sales. So let's say you sell 1000 copies, that will be about 8 cents X 10 songs X 1000 copies = 800$ to distribute to various agencies and publishers. So all in all, for an estimated 1000 sale of a 10 song album, you're looking at a 900$ investment.
Since the artists participating in this compilation are doing it for free/charity and this will be sold through your bandcamp page, you're the one who is dealing with all monetary aspects of this. Thus, it should be you who is in charge of securing rights and paying the appropriate entities to make sure the whole thing goes off without a hitch.
On that note, if I were you I would wait until you get a finished song before hunting for rights. There are always a few people who are not able to deliver their song for various reasons so you don't want to pay for licenses that are not going to be used.
Since you're aiming at a charity, you might be able to get a few songs (or all, if you're lucky) for free if you present your project to the publishers properly. You'd need to put together a little document and make your case.
Anyways. Just my two cents. Or you can do what most people do and just release the songs because "this is just chipmusic" and all.
That said. I think I'm gonna hop on this particular bandwagon. There's more than a few 80s songs I've been itching to chip-cover. I'll fill out the form.
That's good to know!
I will definitely keep that in mind
And glad to have you on board with the project!
Last edited by nanode (September 7, 2015 3:53 pm)