Question regarding the no covers thing

SirRobin1tothe3SirRobin1tothe3 Opening Act
edited December 2009 in The Rock Band Network
Alright, just as an example, let's take All the Young Dudes. It was written by David Bowie for Mott the Hoople to perform. Mott the Hoople had a big hit of it. Mott the Hoople were the first people to record it because Bowie gave them the song.

David Bowie then recorded his own version of the song later.

Supposing Bowie or Hoople wanted to put All the Young Dudes on the Rock Band Network, which one would count as the "cover" and not be allowed?

Comments

  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited October 2009
    So uh, are you just asking this hypothetically, or have you been in negotiations with Mott the Hoople and/or David Bowie to release this song on RBN?

    Cause if you haven't, what difference does it make? The answer depends on who owns the publishing rights to the song. And since none of us know who truly owns the rights to that song, we cannot answer that question.
  • SirRobin1tothe3SirRobin1tothe3 Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    davidshek;3201918 said:
    So uh, are you just asking this hypothetically, or have you been in negotiations with Mott the Hoople and/or David Bowie to release this song on RBN?

    Cause if you haven't, what difference does it make? The answer depends on who owns the publishing rights to the song. And since none of us know who truly owns the rights to that song, we cannot answer that question.
    I'm asking hypothetically. And as for "what difference does it make," there are more examples than just All the Young Dudes, and one of those examples might want to appear on the RBN.
  • CCDaDonCCDaDon Headliner
    edited October 2009
    You're asking if a band did a song written by someone else would be considered a cover if the person who wrote it ended up recording after the song was done?

    I'm... not sure.
  • RunesmithRunesmith Headliner
    edited October 2009
    It's not a cover if they were the first artist to officially record the song.

    For instance, even though Bowie wrote the song, his version of China Girl is considered a cover version because Iggy Pop recorded it first.
  • HMXMister_GameHMXMister_Game Harmonix Developer
    edited October 2009
    The reason for "No Covers" in RBN is that you need both the publishing and master recording rights to the song to participate. In a cover situation, you cannot own both, and we don't have the resources to check the legitimacy of any claims.

    The Bowie/Mott the Hoople example above had all sorts of lawyers and managers working out the details when the song got recorded and released.
  • socrstoprsocrstopr Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    SirRobin1tothe3;3201924 said:
    I'm asking hypothetically. And as for "what difference does it make," there are more examples than just All the Young Dudes, and one of those examples might want to appear on the RBN.
    davidshek;3201918 said:
    The answer depends on who owns the publishing rights to the song. And since none of us know who truly owns the rights to that song, we cannot answer that question.
    Reiterating for clarity, as David said, it depends entirely on who owns those rights. If you don't know that, you have more work to do before you can even consider using the song.

    EDIT: Also what that HMX guy with the funny picture said right before me ;)
  • HMXMister_GameHMXMister_Game Harmonix Developer
    edited October 2009
    Do you think I'm funny? What am I, a clown? Do I amuse you?
  • MrOwn1MrOwn1 Opening Act
    edited October 2009
    hmxmister_game;3202725 said:
    do you think i'm funny? What am i, a clown? Do i amuse you?
    heh....
    BWAHAHAHAHAHA YOU ARE HILARIOUS
  • yaniv297yaniv297 Road Warrior
    edited October 2009
    Frankly I don't think either will be a problem. The "no-covers" rule, I believe, was made to prevent cover bands to release their covers as RB tracks (who wouldn't buy this?)
    But if a big artist want to release a famous cover (for example, ifHendrix relatives wants to release "All Along the Watchtower"), I don't think they'll be much of a problem.
  • MagnetMagnet Moderator
    edited November 2009
    yaniv297;3203370 said:
    But if a big artist want to release a famous cover (for example, ifHendrix relatives wants to release "All Along the Watchtower"), I don't think they'll be much of a problem.
    The RBN does not allow covers. Any artist would have to go through official channels to get a cover in the game.
  • RockAuthorsRockAuthors Unsigned
    edited November 2009
    So are ALL covers prohibited from RBN? Even for example blues songs written by someone else a long time ago, but made famous and completely redone musically by a more famous artist? I know it's hard to just look at one song, but say a blues song written by Robert Johnson, but played completely different by Eric Clapton...just curious
  • RockAuthorsRockAuthors Unsigned
    edited November 2009
    and no I have not signed an agreement with eric clapton to chart his songs...but if his people are reading this, hit me up lol
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited November 2009
    RockAuthors;3208493 said:
    So are ALL covers prohibited from RBN? Even for example blues songs written by someone else a long time ago, but made famous and completely redone musically by a more famous artist? I know it's hard to just look at one song, but say a blues song written by Robert Johnson, but played completely different by Eric Clapton...just curious
    Yes, all covers are prohibited. Even public domain songs.
  • jmemmersonjmemmerson Unsigned
    edited November 2009
    OK, can I complicate things even more?
    Say (hypothetically) that Metallica wanted to release Mercyful Fate as a Rock Band song (which is a medley of Mercyful Fate songs) or something similar, what are the rules on this, as it is not a direct cover?
  • wesjett08wesjett08 Rising Star
    edited November 2009
    They would have to go through the normal store,Not the RBN ... plain and simple.
  • davidshekdavidshek Community Playtester
    edited November 2009
    jmemmerson;3235044 said:
    OK, can I complicate things even more?
    Say (hypothetically) that Metallica wanted to release Mercyful Fate as a Rock Band song (which is a medley of Mercyful Fate songs) or something similar, what are the rules on this, as it is not a direct cover?
    There's nothing complicated about it. "No covers" is pretty simple and straightforward.
  • DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
    edited November 2009
    (The following question may be stretching the definition of "cover," but I think it relates enough to not warrant a new thread.)

    Would a song using someone else's written work (whether public domain or not) as lyrics be rejected as a 'cover' as well?

    For example, last summer I worked in a production of Shakespeare's Twelfth Night that had an original rock score, using the lyrics to the 'songs' written in the play (of which there is no record of the actual music), that was subsequently released and sold on CD. If the company wanted to put that CD into RBN, would they be allowed to?

    Or if someone had written a song using a poem by Maya Angelou and wanted to distribute it via RBN, would that be kosher? Rush tended to allude to (and I think even directly quote from) Ayn Rand, and HMX seems to be fine with that.

    Though, I know it's probably one of those "just because a big musician did it and it's in the Music Store doesn't mean anyone can." I'm not sure if in Rush's case it's OK because of public domain rights (both when the songs were written and nowadays) or because of their popularity. It's even more debatable when relating the Rush example to Alien Ant Farm ("Smooth Criminal") and Stevie Ray Vaughan ("Mary Had a Little Lamb"). I doubt that it would be fine for RBN, but I'd still like to get an official response, even if it's "We'll call them when they come."
  • edited November 2009
    All of those examples would be no go for RBN. RBN has a strict no covers policy.
    HMX RB DLC does allow covers however.
  • ClipheadCliphead Rising Star
    edited November 2009
    The main Rock Band store is different because Harmonix themselves are negotiating the rights to both the composition and the performance, so they know everything's okay. Due to the potential volume of incoming Rock Band Network songs, the easiest policy to implement is just no covers, period.
  • DavyinaTogaDavyinaToga Road Warrior
    edited November 2009
    HMXEnosity;3243552 said:
    All of those examples would be no go for RBN. RBN has a strict no covers policy.
    HMX RB DLC does allow covers however.
    Ok, so 'no covers' DOES extend beyond musical works. Thanks for the quick response. Saddening to know, but better than nothing.
  • SirRobin1tothe3SirRobin1tothe3 Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    Another question: Would a mostly (as in MOSTLY, like 99%) original song with a three- or four-second melodic and lyrical homage to another song tacked on to the end count as a cover? I know this could be easily remedied by splicing the end bit off, but I'm just wondering.
  • MrOwn1MrOwn1 Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    What about a song written by one band for another band to use and record?
  • SirRobin1tothe3SirRobin1tothe3 Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    MrOwn1;3256320 said:
    What about a song written by one band for another band to use and record?
    That, uh... was what the topic asked about originally.
  • MrOwn1MrOwn1 Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    SirRobin1tothe3;3261504 said:
    That, uh... was what the topic about originally.
    It's official. I am stupid.
  • SirRobin1tothe3SirRobin1tothe3 Opening Act
    edited November 2009
    MrOwn1;3263259 said:
    It's official. I am stupid.
    Nah, I'm the stupid one here. My sentence did not have a verb in it. I'll go fix that now.
  • LuigiHannLuigiHann Stormtrooper
    edited November 2009
    SirRobin1tothe3;3256298 said:
    Another question: Would a mostly (as in MOSTLY, like 99%) original song with a three- or four-second melodic and lyrical homage to another song tacked on to the end count as a cover? I know this could be easily remedied by splicing the end bit off, but I'm just wondering.
    Depends on how close the homage is. I assume that if it's "similar" to the original it's okay but if it's "the same" then it's not okay.
  • mayhem117mayhem117 Road Warrior
    edited November 2009
    I don't think there would be a problem. Social Distortion had Ring of Fire up. Which was a Johnny Cash. I think the "no covers" rule is to prevent nobodies performing songs not originally done by them
  • Awesome_TreeAwesome_Tree Rising Star
    edited November 2009
    mayhem117;3269874 said:
    I don't think there would be a problem. Social Distortion had Ring of Fire up. Which was a Johnny Cash. I think the "no covers" rule is to prevent nobodies performing songs not originally done by them
    It's been mentioned lots of times that the RBN rules are much different to the regualr RB store rules.
  • FairwoodStudiosFairwoodStudios Road Warrior
    edited November 2009
    Another use case question. I have a metal band interested, and they'd like to use a song that has a guest solo from Steve Smyth- who's not a member of the band. The song is original, the lyrics are original, but the solo's a guest contribution. Does this still fall in the restricted category?
  • lanky316lanky316 Rising Star
    edited November 2009
    Is it a solo from another song or one for their song? If the former there shouldn't be an issue should there as it's a song by that band? Otherwise this could make RBN much, much more complicated!
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