Can covers of songs be monetized on YouTube?

Monetizing covers on YouTube is possible, and many artists earn a living solely from YouTube. However, following the correct procedure is necessary to avoid trouble. To keep your cover video legal, you’ll need a mechanical or a compulsory license. YouTube is full of cover videos from musicians.

How can I legally Post cover songs on YouTube?

You can obtain a mechanical license through the Harry Fox Agency. The mechanical license only covers the audio portion of your YouTube cover. To post video along with the song, you’ll need a synchronization license, also called a “sync” license. You must negotiate a sync license with the copyright holder.

Is it illegal to cover a song?

Anyone can cover anyone else’s song, and its creator cannot say no (that’s the compulsory part). But if you do cover a song, you must pay a royalty to the song’s creator (that’s the licensing part).

How can I legally record cover songs?

If you want to record and release your own cover version of someone else’s song, then you’ll need a “mechanical license” for your cover song. A mechanical license is the right to make copies of the song’s musical structure such as the lyrics and notes, which is called the musical composition.

Are covers legal?

Is doing covers of a song illegal?

Can you do covers on YouTube?

Cover song videos are NOT protected by a mechanical license. Once a song is published, you have the right to cover it (as a recording, but NOT as a video).

Are covers allowed on YouTube?

The mechanical license covers reproduction and distribution, but not public performance and display. Therefore, you need a synch license as well as a mechanical license to legally publish a cover song on YouTube (unless the song has fallen into public domain).

Do I own the rights to a cover song on YouTube?

In other words, if you upload a cover song video, YouTube should be able to tell that you do NOT own the rights to the song; you will see a claim placed on the video by the publisher, and any ad revenue generated by your video will be paid to that rights holder.

What is the YouTube Partner Program for creators?

Creators participating in the YouTube Partner Program can now share in the revenue from eligible cover song videos on YouTube, once those videos are claimed by music publisher owners. You will be paid revenue for these videos on a pro rata basis.

How do I enable revenue sharing for my cover song video?

To enable revenue sharing for your cover song video once it has been claimed by a music publisher: Enable your account for monetization, if you have not already done so. Visit the Monetization tab in your account settings. Locate the eligible cover song video within Video Manager.

How to upload a cover song on YouTube or other platforms?

If you decide to upload the cover song on YouTube or other video streaming platforms, then you will need and synchronization license, also known as a SYNC license. You can get a SYNC license from either the publisher or the songwriter (s) of that particular song. I should mention that SYNC licenses can be quite expensive and hard to obtain.