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).
All Cover songs require a mechanical license in the form of a written confirmation from the original copyright holder with rights to reproduce and distribute. You will be asked to produce the physical document before or at any point after distribution.
If you want to distribute a cover song with TuneCore, you will need to provide signed and stamped written permission on official letterhead from the original copyright holder, or a registered agreement with the original copyright holder before you release your song digitally.
In a situation where an account holder has distributed a release that they do not have written permission to reproduce and distribute, the release will immediately be taken down and the account suspended. No refunds will be issued.
Under India copyright law, licenses for cover versions of any popular Indian songs cannot be granted until five years after the original recording was made.To legally create and distribute a cover song, you must obtain explicit permission from the copyright owners, typically the record labels and music publishers, and not merely rely on obtaining a mechanical license from a third party. Please note that if you upload a cover this like without the proper licensing, TuneCore must take it down when they are notified by the copyright holder and will hold any earned funds made by this release.
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.