United Music


Licensing: What Do We Cover?

We charge a one time fee of $9.99 per composition for cover song licensing. In most cases, this will mean $9.99 per track. There are no annual or subscription fees with UML!

What We Can License:

Cover Songs:
A cover song is another artist's recording of a song that was previously written (or arranged), recorded, and released by someone else after 1924. Soundrop can help with licensing a cover song provided that the original work has been officially released in the US.

What We Can't License

Public Domain: 
If a song's music & lyrics were published before January 1, 1924, then the song is considered in the Public Domain in the US. To check if your song is in the public domain in the US, you can use this handy tool: pdinfo.com. If you are playing a specific arrangement made after 1924 (even if the original was written before 1924), you'll need to purchase a license. 
Why we can't license it: No license needed!

Derivative Works: Translations, Interpolation & Modified Cover Songs:
Any time the fundamental character of the lyrics and/or melody are altered from their original fixed tangible medium, the use falls into a "derivative work". This requires a negotiated royalty rate or fee between the publisher and the music user.
Why we can't license it: Derivative works are not covered under standard mechanical (cover song) licensing. 

Samples & Remixes:
A sample is a piece of a sound recording that is used in another sound recording. While you can sample and remix your own content, cover song licensing does not extend to sampling and remixing work from other artists. 
Why we can't license it: Direct permission from the original publisher and the original copyright owner is required. 

Creating a parody generally falls under "Fair Use", and you don't always need a cover song license. Keep in mind that there are a number of factors that go into determining whether a song is legally a parody. It’s always best to contact a music lawyer to determine if your song falls under fair use.
Why we can't license it: Requires legal consultation and / or direct permission from the original publisher.

I already have a license 
We aren't able to accept outside licenses for cover songs. You can certainly use your license for transactions outside of UML (like sales on Bandcamp or physical CD sales)!