While CMRRA can grant mechanical licenses for the reproduction of musical works controlled by its publishers, the words and the melody used for your recording must correspond to those of the original musical work. In other words, a license can only be granted for a new arrangement of a work if no changes are brought to the fundamental structure, chords and/or lyrics of the composition.
With the exception of public domain works, any fundamental modifications made to a musical work must first be approved in writing by its publisher(s), and possibly its author(s), before CMRRA can grant a license for it. Please note that if a composition is owned by more than one publisher, all publishers must give their authorization before the adaptation can be recorded. Since any publisher can refuse to authorize an adaptation or translation, we recommend that you not record your version of the song before the appropriate rights are secured.
The responsibility to secure these rights is that of the adaptor, translator or eventual recipient of the license. In order to obtain these rights, you must contact the concerned publisher(s) directly. Generally, a publisher will require the following information to approve an adaption/translation of its work:
The original title of the work used along with the name of its authors/composers;
The new title given to the adaptation along with the names of the adaptors/translators;
The original lyrics of the work being arranged;
The new or translated lyrics of the adaptation;
If the adaptation is in a language other than English, a literal English translation of the lyrics.
Once you have received the required approvals from the concerned publisher(s), CMRRA will be happy to issue the mechanical license(s) on behalf of the publisher(s) for your recording. Please note that a copy of the signed agreement between you and the concerned publisher(s) will need to be included in your license application.
Use of an already existing adaptation or translation:
If you wish to use an existing adaptation or translation of a musical work, you must send an application for mechanical licenses to CMRRA following the procedures outlined in the Instructions for Mechanical Licensing Application. On the form entitled Application for Mechanical Licensing, you must include both the title of the original work and the adapted work as well as the name of the authors and composers of the original work and the name of the adaptors and/or translators.
If the adaptation is registered as authorized in our database, you will be granted a license. However, it may happen that the adaptation/translation you wish to use has never been properly authorized by the concerned parties. If this is the case, and you still wish to reproduce the arrangement, you will have to follow the steps outlined above under “Creation of an adaptation or translation of an original work.”