Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Recording a Lindsey Buckingham Song

Dear Rich: I have friends in a band in Norway and they want to release a song written by Lindsay Buckingham. They plan on releasing 1000 CDs and 500 vinyl singles. Does the label ask for permission or should the band? We think your friends should look at their recording contract (if they have one) to determine who has responsibility for paying for the rights. In the U.S., the label typically pays (and then charges it to the band somehow).
Rights Organizations. In the U.S., the band would have a fairly easy time sorting this out. They could either pay the compulsory license fees and follow the instructions issued by the Copyright Office. Or they could take the easier route of charging the fees to their credit card at the HFA site -- you just set up an account and tell them how many copies. HFA instructions note, however, that the license is only for recordings distributed in the U.S. In Norway, rights are commonly sorted by Kopinor, and your friends might want to check their website for assistance. Other European rights organizations are shown here.
Small Correction Dept. You spelled Mr. B's name as Lindsay; the hypervigilant Dear Rich Staff reports that it's actually the more common male variant, Lindsey (placing #834 among male names -- compared to #1211 for Lindsay).