|June 17, 2013 - submitted by Lucas, United States of America|
Q. Hey Oracle,<br> This may seem like a random question, but I hope you can answer it.<br> You've talked before about making covers of songs (specifically Coldplay songs) But what are the rules when it comes to covering/performing or even recording an unreleased song?<br> <br> For example, I'm a huge fan of a song called Until the Water Flows Over (I suppose it's also known as Solid Ground) that was never released (why it wasn't, I don't think I'll ever understand). It was played live once, I believe. And the instrumental leaked online some time ago.<br> With what we have of the song, could I be able to cover/perform or record a variation of this song without any problems? If not, what could I do about it?<br> <br> Thanks Oracle!
The Oracle replies:
Rules for cover versions aren't the exact same in every territory but generally speaking you can cover anything but you can't record a song that hasn't been recorded by the originators.<br> <br> Playing it live is also tricky because unreleased songs aren't registered and therefore royalties and monies earned from live performance wouldn't reach the writers.<br> <br> A song in existence whether recorded or not is still copyrighted to the publisher/label/artist...