Licensing a cover song...from China!?

Yeah… long story… but yeah, how? And I realise the irony… licensing a song from the piracy capital of the world. In fact I once read that 98% of music sold in China was pirated! So given that, would you even bother??

I’ve already recorded the tune in question… which I noted, having looked at the Chinese equivalent of youtube, has already been covered a quad-zillion times! :astonished:


You are right the only answer is one you already know lol but I would contact Sesac ASCAP or BMI to ask. I think it noble that you are considering this an issue. The reality is that downloading everywhere is killing us and if it goes public by selling in the USA and if you are blessed by making anything on it you are ^%$%ed. Not worth the chance or the bad vibes that come with stealing another artist work I think.

By your stats, in China 98% is pirated but 2% isn’t and that is a huge number of honest people in a country whose people have far less than we do. Let us know what you find out its a question that we all may need answered one!

I did a recent search via Harry Fox and surprisingly the original Chinese artist (Xu Wei) showed up in the results, BUT unfortunately no listing for this particular song (Lan Lianhua). :confused:

I’ll place a query with our local performing rights organisation (APRA) and see what they say…


Seems like that is about to change:

Seems like the original artist is signed to EMI. I’ve used Limelight to obtain a license (digital). All very simple and straightforward!


I for one applaud you for not emulating their larcenous practices. However… China doesn’t respect the patent laws of any other country, either. In fact, if a foreign country wants to set up a subsidiary in China, they are required by law to share all their product secrets with their competitors. But I’d like to think that following your conscience here might help one dude, the songwriter, make a little something (or a BIG something if your song goes platinum)

[I`d say, go & steal it!](
Declare this copyright infringement a symbolic act. A sign that the western world does not ignore their cultural assets even though its coming from the worst dictatorship on this planet that has never shown any respect for their citizens, neighbouring countries, animals, not to speak of other peoples intellectual property!

Happy for you, this gives you the right to ask in the future for your work not be misused.

As it happens there’s a Kiwi inventor that was recently seriously screwed by a Chinese company. Lost everything while they meanwhile are making a fortune from his intellectual property.

Well, I decided to do the ‘right’ thing, regardless of any political stance. My fundamental reasoning being simply that “two wrongs don’t make a right”.

And here’s an irony: my wife is Chinese. She is absolutely staggared and simply does not understand why I obtained a license for this song. It’s simply unheard of where she comes from! BUT, that aside, me singing this particular song in Chinese moved her to tears so it was certainly worth the license fee in that regard :wink: You can’t put a price on that!


Oh, youre absolutely right, mate! I wasnt serious about recommending to steal that song since it still belongs to an individual person that will have put a lot of work into it as much as you do with your music. But when it comes to copyright infringement and China one tends to get cynical at times…

There’s even a wiki entry specifically covering this topic:’s_Republic_of_China