Copyright: Overview

Before manufacturing copies of any sort of programme on CD, DVD, cassette or vinyl, you need to think about the copyright issues. In common with all other reputable music media manufacturers, Sounds Good takes copyright issues very seriously. We require all customers to sign a declaration that they have obtained the appropriate permissions and licenses that apply to the material to be reproduced. In addition, we will ask you to supply copies of licenses, or to fill in a form detailing what, if any, copyrighted intellectual properties are included within the content of the programme.

Copyright: Music: MCPS/PRS Alliance

Audio CD/DVD/Cassette – including cover versions of copyright material…
If you want us to manufacture audio CDs, DVDs or Cassettes that include one or more cover versions, i.e. songs not written by the artist or members of the band, then you will need to get a license from the MCPS (Mechanical Copyright Protection Society). Do it well in advance of your manufacturing date!

Contact PRS For Music where you can apply for a licence. On it you’ll need to list ALL the songs on the album (single/EP) – originals and covers! For the cover versions, you’ll need to find out the names of the original songwriters, and the copyright holder (often this would be the publishing company). The MCPS will help you find this information if you’re having problems. You’ll also need to say how many discs/tapes you are asking us to manufacture, and state the retail and dealer prices of the product, and the barcode number.

It doesn’t cost much to be legal – royalties for any cover versions may be only a few pence per track per disc/tape produced. Also the MCPS do allow you to claim a certain proportion of the manufacturing run as promotional copies – free of royalties. Click here or phone 0800 068 4828 for further information.

Audio CD/DVD/Cassette – all your own material?
Even if all the material on your CD/DVD/Cassette is your own, you’ll still have to contact the MCPS to get a ‘Notification Of No Claim’ – which is basically an MCPS license certifying that no royalty needs to be paid by you on that material.

Audio CD/DVD/Cassette – including original sound recordings of copyright material…
Let’s say you wanted to produce a compilation album using original recordings by the original artists. This is a whole different issue. You would still have to get an MCPS license for the songs from the MCPS, but, more importantly, you would ALSO have to negotiate a licensing deal with the copyright holder of the sound recording. This is usually deemed to be the record company which released the track in the first place, by virtue of the contract they have with the artist performing on the recording, or the artist itself.