A lot of people can't seem to comprehend the meaning of copyright.
It simply means if you made something, it's yours. If someone else
made something, it's theirs. (What could be simpler?)
As such, "EVERY SINGLE SONG IN THE WORLD" is copyrighted
and belongs to either the composer, the artist, the record company,
and/or whoever owns its publishing rights.
But in fact, most songs have 2 copyrights: there's one for the writer
(called the "creation" copyright), and one for the actual product (the
"performance" copyright). Nearly all the copyright violations here on
YouTube have been initiated by the record companies. But....
Nobody ever really considered the original creators themselves: the
songwriters. Celine Dion and Sony BMG can't just record someone
else's song without first getting copyright clearance. And, strangely
enough, Linkin Park and WMG can't even record one of their songs
without getting clearance, even though Linkin Park wrote the songs
Technically "EVERY COVER SONG" is copyrighted by the original
songwriter. It is their creation, and the cover artist is actually taking
advantage of somebody else's work. What would the cover artist be
without the benefit of those songs?
It's no different that copying a Harry Potter book, and giving it some
cardboard covers, a few glossy pictures, and different fonts. What's
the difference? All I did was take a famous person's creation, give it
my own style, and then uploaded/distributed it over the internet.