How are copyright issues taken care of at talent shows


The voice, America’s got talent, American idol, all these involve people singing what someone else has already sung. How do the shows or the singers not get into trouble with the artists?

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4 Answers

Anonymous 0 Comments

You can get a license that lets you perform a copyrighted song, and these shows have big budgets and legal teams. There are systems in place for all these things.

Anonymous 0 Comments

The person trying out is not profiting off using the song during tryouts. So it is fair use.

If a person’s audition is used in the religion broadcast the show pays the licensing fees to broadcast the audition.

Once it reaches the live show all the songs are chosen beforehand and licensing fees are handled up front.

Though, your question brings up an interesting thought; if there are songs for which acquiring the license to broadcast is difficult or cost prohibitive…would a contestant choosing one of those songs as their audition song make it certain they won’t get selected for the show?

Anonymous 0 Comments

Contestants and TV producers decide in advance which songs will be sang, and producers take care of the copyright licenses for all those songs.

Anonymous 0 Comments

Organizations like SIAE (Società Italiana degli Autori ed Editori) are setup to deal with this.

Shows like X-factor pay a flat fee to SIAE to manage the copyright issues.

*Italy is actually renown for its dubbing and audio industry. Most of the alternate language versions of movies and TV shows are recorded in Italy. This goes back to the time of Mussolini who setup the basis for this industry because he insisted on having all of his speeches dubbed because he didn’t want to recorded saying something embarrassing*

Everytime an episode is edited a cue sheet with all the music that will be used is sent to SIAE. They then pay royalties to the associated artists or record companies based on pre-negotiated deals, out of the flat rate paid to SIAE.

The cost of the royalty depends on the artist in question, the popularity of the song, and the length of the sound bite. The company has this all negotiated in advance.