I'm all for supporting artist, but I'm sure there's some legal issues with them singing covers rather than doing originals themselves and making a profit of it, and I think the ones that have started using patreon haven't asked the composers if they're ok to do something like this
Alright so first off, I should state that what is written here by me is my opinion only...what I say here does not represent the community as a whole. Also I'm not an expert on the "legalness" of things...I just have a brief understanding of it.
For me what I consider "illegal" is if the singer in question was to try and sell their covers, however in this case they aren't quite exactly?
Like yes, a person is paying the singer to cover songs but the singer isn't saying something like "hey buy my cover of [song] here!" As long as the covers are still free to download it should be fine though I do understand that it's threading some fine lines here as making money off of non-original songs is questionable as half the work is technically done for the singer already.
However I'd like to point out, what about the artists that draw fanart and have a Patreon? Are they to be considered a problem since they're using already established character designs and making money off it?
Then you have doujin artists which is literally a community based upon creating comics using charaters from established series...likewise they also thread a fine line too, no?
You might argue that, well, at least the artist is creating "original" plot and drawing the whole thing themselves.
But the thing is, singing is similar as there's no one cover that's the same and it takes skill to be able to control your voice the way you want.
For easy understanding since I know my explanation might be confusing:
Covering a song is just as unique as creating fanart.
Its understandable how there may be questionable circumstances about singers using Patreon but at the same time at the level it is now, it seems acceptable for them to do so.
How I see it is that a Patreon is allowing a person to have the time to do what they want; people are essentially "donating" money to a person in hopes that it will "encourage" them to do a certain action, in this case, sing.
Of course I'm sure people may see it other ways...
Since drawing doujins don't seem to break the law I can assume having a Patreon to encourage covers does not.
However, its not like doujins are a free for all, they do have certain restrictions that they have to follow. I've heard of doujin artists being sued because distribution got out of hand or something? Wikipedia has a small entry on this (For any future readers...this is why you don't scan doujins and spread them guys!!!)
Well I don't think that circumstance would apply quite the same way to covers since they're free for everyone on the internet. Anyhow I just want to point out is that there is possibility of being sued for one reason or another even if one is protected by the Creative Commons license.
Even if they get into legal issues its was that person's choice to use a Patreon in the first place. I'm not here to determine exactly what breaks the law (or encourage you to bend it) when it comes to gray issues.
Alright I hope everything I wrote was understandable. Feel to free to ask if you have a question.
What do you think?