Last christmas a friend of mine wrote alternative lyrics to a well known classic christmas song. I plan on compiling about 10 or 15 songs altogether, including the one she wrote, and putting them onto a CD for her gift this year. I can't sing so I posted an ad on Craigslist asking if anyone would be willing to sing just for the credit and I received an email from several people including a band that wants to sell it at their concerts along with their CD. I have no idea what to do. Can I sell the CD if it's all parodies(music would be acoustic/played by the band, lyrics sound like the songs but no copied sentences or anything.) I don't know anything about copyright laws or royalties or, well, anything. I just wanted to do this for fun and it has become somewhat of a headache. Can anyone help?? Please help!!!!

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  • If the song is not Public Domain, then you cannot record it, and certainly not sell it, without permission, even if you change the lyrics and perform it yourself. But many Christmas songs are public domain, so check to see.
  • If the music for the song is out of copyright (or in the public domain), then you can indeed write and copyright your own arrangement, lyrics, and performance of the song, and sell it without fear.

    If the music is not out of copyright, then you can probably license the music (check the harry fox agency in the US as they are the largest holder of rights at the moment - they have special rates for low volume sales projections) and still copyright your arrangement, lyrics and performance and sell it.

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