Jump to content


Copyright and recording old blues songs


3 replies to this topic

#1 Rexel Matador

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Newcastle

Posted 13 August 2017 - 09:38 PM

I want to record an album of old blues songs to sell or give away at gigs. I can’t make head nor tail of the information I’m seeing online regarding where I’d stand copyright-wise.

I’ve seen other blues acts selling CDs including mostly covers of old songs. Do people just do it and hope nobody catches them out or are people going through the whole process of looking into licensing songs etc?

It’s mostly pre-1950 country blues type stuff. Does anyone have any experience with this type of thing?

#2 Mykesbass

    Absurd Strawman

  • Members
  • PipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 3,397 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:West Sussex
  • Interests:Music (funny that), Rugby - referee lower levels in Sussex, food and of course, family.

Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:17 AM

Officially you will need to submit the songs to MCPS for a license. They will ask for the publishing royalty upfront (8.5% of the published dealer price).

If the songs are all traditional then you will be OK. Check for some other versions of them - they will have Trad, arranged by xxxx instead of a writer's credit. Otherwise, if the writer has been dead for over 100 years the song will have become public domain.

I'd guess a lot of acts do ignore the process. MCPS get reports from CD manufacturers, in fact, the manufacturers should not produce the CDs unless a license is in place. If you are running them off yourself or getting CDRs replicated in small quantities then these will not be reported. Chances of MCPS finding out? Probably quite low, but, like HMRC, they are a tenacious bunch.
My Feedback Here:
My Blog www.modlock.co.uk
My Band Lee Ainley's Blues Storm
My Work Wordcrafting

#3 Rexel Matador

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 101 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Newcastle

Posted 14 August 2017 - 06:39 AM

Thanks Mykesbass, that's really helpful! :)

#4 bazztard

    Fully fledged member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 778 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Adelaide , South Australia
  • Interests:Learning YYZ note for note :)

Posted 16 August 2017 - 05:19 AM

copy some Led Zeppelin songs , THEY didn't acknowledge the original writer either so surely can't complain if you record them too :)

Edited by bazztard, 16 August 2017 - 05:19 AM.

"I follow a long line of famous bass men, like the guy in the Who or the guy in Led Zeppelin who isn't Plant Page or Bonham"





1 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 1 guests, 0 anonymous users