If we like a song and we want to then sing it, perhaps after translating and adapting its lyrics, we may be prevented from publishing and selling our work because of the high costs involved.
First of all, the online digital market seems to be irrationally managed: CDBABY (CDBABY) is a wonderful platform, yet it does not have any option available to us in terms of adaptation, translation, and new chimes. It also does not bring automatic copyright charges.
If you try to find someone to solve your possible copyright issues, which shall be plenty, since even information about original writers, original titles, original distributing and publishing companies, is the rarest thing, then you will be easily convinced not to publish or sell that song, given the prices they charge.
Perhaps you will never sell anything on CDBABY, but, if you insist in doing things legally and buying the licenses before offering the product, you may have loss with your idea of actually saying you like that song or that composer, and etc.
CDBABY should obviously have more options available in their menu (they only have three at the moment: cover, original or public domain). As a minimum thing, they should have cover with translated and adapted material, cover with translation or cover with original material. Then cover with translated and adapted material plus original arrangement or cover with translated and adapted material. They could also have all these options inside of the public domain option. What they have now is:
They should also take care of any copyright issues in our place, so that whenever we say we have a cover, they should have the fields for us to enter all we know about the original song and they then do all the research automatically. We could then enter a reference website, name of known authors and singers, and etc. We would enter all information that we have and their search machines, together with their databases, would do the rest.
As another point, the prices are abusive: There should be minima payments whenever we have a cover with translated and adapted material plus original arrangement, for instance, since there are quite a lot of differences between the original and the new version. CDBABY should have a standard sheet with minima costs to produce the songs, which they would then separate from any possible charges regarding copyright. Copyright would then be charged in a different manner, all depending on how much of the original we have used (translated, adapted, and with a new arrangement is lowest, new singer only is highest, and etc.).
Below, you will see a sample of prices we got from Easy Licensing:
|Number of Copies Made|
(CDs or Downloads)
|Our Fee||Total Cost|
|Over 2,500||Custom license required. Add $.034 per unit for our services, plus our fee.|
An employee of CDBABY suggested that we call the modified versions of the songs derivative works, and that sounds right too.