Music [list of bands who refuse to release their music to singing talent shows]

i have been tryin to find a list of bands who refuse to release their music to singing talent shows. does anyone know if there is such a list and where i can find it?


I don’t think anyone can refuse. On most singing shows I’ve seen, the songs are different versions. Weird Al Yankovic explains that if don’t look at the sheet music, just sit there and try to copy the song yourself and there’s enough differences, nobody can stop you from making a similar song. So on singing shows, the music is usually played by the house band and about 25-30% the length of the original song.

dang, that means I lost a bet…lol thanks for the info tho!

No that is not true at all.

In order to use a song in a TV show, the producer of the show has to obtain synchronization (“sync”) rights from the owner of the copyright. That will typically be a song publisher. A band has no say in the granting of such rights unless they directly own the copyright, control the publisher, or have some sort of contract with the publisher that grants them such rights. Just playing 25% of the song does not let you off the hook. If the house band (or any other band) plays the song, they are still on the hook for the composers’ royalties (which typically have been sold to a music publisher).

You do not need sync rights in order to create a phonorecording or to play a song live or on the radio. You need different kinds of rights which still require payment to the composer/publisher.

Yes, but in that case the original band can’t stop you, you just need to pay royalties.

The fancy term is “mechanical license.” If you want to record your own band playing someone else’s song, you need to obtain a mechanical license from the songwriter (or whoever owns the rights.) In the US, mechanical license is compulsory - the owner of the copyright can’t stop you as long as you pay the standard royalty rate. However, other countries are different.

Even though the mechanical license is compulsory, it is considered polite to ask permission of the original artist. Weird Al, for instance, always asks permission before recording a parody.

In the case of a TV singing show, if the house band were to play the song, they can do so automatically, but would probably want to ask permission so other musicians would not think that they are jerks. If they want to use the actual original song recording, then the show must acquire sync rights which are completely at the discretion (and price) of the rightsholder.

No that is not correct.

Sync rights belong to the composer/publisher. You cannot create an audio-visual work containing music without obtaining sync rights. This is true whether you play the music yourself or you use someone else’s recording. The use of music in film, TV, video and webcast is not covered by the compulsory license provisions of the Copyright Act. As a result, sync licenses for these uses must be negotiated on an individual basis between the copyright owner and the producer.

If you want to use someone else’s recording of a song in an audio-visual work, you must first get the sync rights from the composer/publisher and then you must get master recording rights from the record company (or performer if self-released).

The only thing you can do “automatically” in the United State is create a phonorecord. The compulsory mechanical license applies only to the creation of phonerecords and not to the creation of audio-visual works such as TV shows. See 17 USC § 115. Once the copyright owner has allowed anyone (including himself) to distribute a phonorecord of his work to the public, he must grant a compulsory license to anyone else who wishes to create a phonorecord of this work, as long as that person pays the mechanical royalties in advance.

I don’t believe this applies to approximations of songs. What friedo said about the recordings actually sounds like it applies to what you’re talking about. What I said would also explain the range of karaoke songs available, which, if you listen closely, usually have major differences from the original work. What I said would also explain why nearly every band plays unrecorded covers in live shows only.

Did some research, and this appears to be the correct answer.

The original band actually doesn’t have much of a say, the composer and the rights holder (who is not usually the band) decide if someone else can use it.

So to answer the OP, the while theoretically there might be a list of songs/artists that singing shows can’t use, the band isn’t the one doing the refusing.

Moved to Cafe Society, and thread title edited to better indicate subject.

General Questions Moderator