Public Domain Songs Verses Non Public Domain _ legal Question


#1

I am wanting to begin singing songs for people. I’ve chosen to sing hymns for people. I am wondering if I have to limit my songs to just those in public domain or if I can song songs that are current. What are the legal restrictions for me If I do current songs? Do I need to contact a performance Rights organization or get permission?

Thanks you.


#2

If you want to sell any version of a copyrighted song (someone else singing it or you singing it) you would need to do so in a way that is globally legal. I don’t think there is anyone on the forum who is an expert on global law, so you’d have to research the legal issues.

If you do sell something to a buyer and they report you for selling a copyrighted version of a song, your gig could be denied and/or your account could be banned. Your safest route would therefore be public domain music although you could investigate what licensing documents are needed for others and provide the appropriate document to a buyer for your own protection.


#3

As Font has stated: you aren’t legally allowed to profit from someone’s creation… either a master recording or written work unless you have ownership of one of two things:

  1. A license agreement (permission) to sell the song, which you won’t get …*more on this in a moment or…
  2. You are the owner of the master recording.

You will not be able to get a permission for selling “for hire” songs because there aren’t enough royalties to the songwriters to justify your profiting once.

As you’re also not the owner of the original master recordings on karaoke tracks - you may not sell those either. But before you’re allowed to sell your own versions (like karaoke does) you must obtain permission from the owners of the publishing. Sending you back to problem number one.

In short…Can I rent out your kitchen? No, I may not.