What steps do I need to take to distribute a cover song legally?

In the US the song needs to licensed first through a service like Limewire, other territories that require a license are Pakistan, India, Canada and Mexico. UK rules for digital distribution dictate that the owners of both the P line (the artist / label) and the C line (the songwriter / publisher) are the same entity and permission can be granted automatically. Permission is implied as soon as the artist records their own song. In the case of cover songs, ie, the owners of both rights as different parties, a record label releasing recordings by an artist, or, an artist releasing a cover version), then the PRS/MCPS can grant a license, providing the cover qualifies as a ‘faithful reproduction’ of the track/song/composition.

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