Question about what is allowed

I run a small website for my band members to access lyrics and tabs for the songs we play. I would like to implement a way of listening to the songs. Am I allowed to let my members download the mp3’s?

Thanks a lot!

Sure. If the MP3s are music you wrote and recorded, you can do anything you want with them. Dreamhost will obviously not allow you to offer music you do not have permission to redistribute, but this obviously doesn’t apply if it’s your own music.

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They will mostly be songs that we have not written.

Unless you have “rights” to distribute the mp3s, you’d be risking trouble if the wrong people find out. That said, practically speaking, if nobody blabs and gives out the URL, the wrong people probably won’t notice. It’s your conscience though. :slight_smile:

What’s the name of the band? I hear R1AA pays bounties. :slight_smile:

Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer. This is not advice, and my post is worth what you paid me to see it. :slight_smile:

Do you have to pay any fees for performing the songs?

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We are only a very small band, like the sort of thing you would expect from a few teenagers who love playing music. There will only be 5 people who have access to the mp3’s (password protected), and it’s probable that they will already own the songs anyway. I’m just asking so I don’t get my account terminated for breach of the TOS.

Are these covers of other people’s songs that your band is actually playing, and not the songs as recorded by the original artists? If so you’re in really good shape. It’s the recorded material and making money off of merchandise that isn’t licensed to you that causes problems. Any fans of Metallica know full well how successful Lars Ulrich has been in making their licensed stuff unavailable for free download.

Even still he was gracious enough to offer the services of Metallica’s own legal team in defending a parody band named Beatallica ( He just didn’t want people profiting off of his material. If these are covers, you have a lot of protection in the name of artistic license and such.

On February 17th, 2005, a cease-and-desist notice was sent to Beatallica by Sony/ATV Music Publishing, a company which holds rights to most of the Beatles catalogue. The notice states that the “music”, “news” and “merchandise” sections of the official Beatallica website constitute a copyright violation and should therefore be taken down. In response to this, a petition requesting Sony/ATV Music Publishing to retract its threat of legal action was created. The band was saved from further legal action by Metallica drummer Lars Ulrich, who offered to provide assistance with legal negotiations and also asked Metallica’s longtime attorney to try to defuse the situation with Sony. Ultimately, Sony decided not to pursue legal action against Beatallica, but maintains the right to do so in the future if necessary.[/quote]

You can’t freely offer cover songs for sale or download: