DON'T FORGET: As soon as a song is recorded, and released for sale to the public, any other artist may record that song and offer it for commercial sale. The "cover" artist is not required to seek, or obtain, the permission of the publishing entity. Only the artist producing the first recording is required to have a license from the publisher. This practice falls under the "Compulsory License" statutes. All record companies, that release product containing a given song, are obligated to pay the music publisher 9.1 cents per side for use of the copyrighted material. The publisher in turn is obligated to pay the songwriters 50% of all mechanical royalties received from the record companies. ASCAP, BMI and SESAC are non-profit organizations charged with collectiing the monies due to their members from the myriad of music users.