Does copyright apply in the case of cover versions?

Yes. That is why the necessary rights must be acquired for the use of a cover version. In most cases this is done via us, GEMA. A cover is a new recording of an existing musical work, possibly also with different instruments. If lyrics or composition are arranged, i.e. changed, however, it is possible that further rights have to be acquired e.g. directly from the creator or its music publisher. Further information is located in this help centre article on arrangements.