A cover song is any new recording of a song that was previously written, recorded, and released by someone else. You own the recording (your version), but the original songwriter owns the composition itself (lyrics, melody, and song structure).
If you want to distribute a cover song with TuneCore, you will need to obtain a mechanical license from the original copyright holder before you release your song digitally.
Important: iTunes and many other platforms do not accept soundalike cover songs.
A soundalike cover is a song that sounds almost identical to the original. Stores consider this content deceptive and misleading and do not want their customers to purchase this material by mistake. If you distribute soundalike covers they will get hidden by the stores and we will not be able to reverse this or issue any refunds.
Cover Song Formatting Guidelines
Cover songs should NOT include the original performing artist in the track title or artist field.
All Along the Watchtower (Originally Performed by Bob Dylan)
All Along the Watchtower (Cover of Bob Dylan)
All Along the Watchtower (Tribute to Bob Dylan)
All Along the Watchtower
All Along the Watchtower (Acoustic Version)
Remixes, Mixtapes, and Mashups
The same rules apply to remixes, mixtapes, or mashups if they include samples of a recording you did not record yourself. You must have a license from the owner of that original recording to distribute these releases.
You cannot distribute any content through TuneCore if you do not have 100% of the rights to that content.
If you have any concerns that you may not have rights to any audio in a remix, mix tape, or mashup you're uploading, please do not upload the song(s) to TuneCore.