A cover song is your recording of a song that you didn't write, assuming that song had previously been released in the USA with the consent of the copyright owner (the songwriter/publisher).
Examples: You recording your version of a Bob Dylan or Cole Porter song, or a song you have to pay the publisher (copyright owner) to create copies of.
A cover song is NOT:
- A song you wrote.
- A song you co-wrote with someone.
- A song someone gave you permission to record and release, but has never been recorded and released before.
- An old song that is now in public domain (like classical music or songs before January 1, 1925).
- An old traditional song (like Ave Maria or Amazing Grace).
- A song you don't have to pay to create copies of.