Compulsory Mechanical License

The clause in copyright law that grants permission to anyone wishing to re-record a song that has already been commercially released. For instance, if you (or anyone else) wanted to record a cover version of "Old Town Road" (or any other song that has been commercially released), you would not need explicit permission from Lil Nas X's publisher to do so. To release this cover version via download or physical media like LPs or CDs, you would need to pay the compulsory mechanical rate, but your license request cannot be denied. To release this cover version via streaming only, no additional fee or license is required, because covers are included in the blanket mechanical licenses DSPs have with music publishers and rights organizations. 

Related Terms:

Related Articles:

Related Resources:

arrow-left Go back to Glossary