Harry Fox Agency Upgrades Online Mechanical Licensing

By • February 5, 2008

Music licensing organization The Harry Fox Agency, Inc. (HFA has upgraded its Songfile online mechanical licensing service by lowering the minimum quantity of licenses to 25 copies for all formats, and adding electronic check as a payment option. Songfile can be used by musicians who plan to make and distribute 2,500 copies or less of their recordings to obtain the necessary licenses for cover versions of songs. Licenses can be obtained for CDs, cassettes, LPs, or permanent digital downloads (DPDs).

“We surveyed over 32,000 Songfile users, and a smaller transaction minimum was a top request,” said HFA’s CEO & President Gary Churgin. “We expect that the electronic check option will be a big help for individuals and organizations that don’t have credit cards yet still wish to use the service. If you did not write the song you recorded, you need a mechanical license, and HFA wants to make that process as simple as possible.”

Customers can create an account with the Songfile service, search HFA’s catalog of almost 1.9 million songs, and complete their mechanical licensing transaction in minutes. Royalties are calculated at the statutory mechanical rate (currently 9.1¢ per copy for songs 5 minutes or less in length, or 1.75¢ per minute (or fraction thereof) per copy, for songs over 5 minutes). There is also a nominal processing fee on each song licensed. If a user just wants to conduct research, there is a separate Songfile Public Search tool on the website available free of charge.

Mechanical licenses are required under U.S. Copyright Law if one wants to duplicate and distribute a recording of a song that is owned by someone else. Through proper licensing, the publisher, and ultimately, the songwriter, are compensated for the use of their work. Duplicators and online music sites require copies of licenses before replicating recordings or offering them online.

Customers must be conducting business in the U.S., and have a valid credit card or checking account with a U.S. billing address. Licenses for songs on physical products and for DPDs must be obtained in separate transactions. For physical products, users are able license multiple songs for one physical album at a time, or users can obtain up to 50 separate DPD licenses in a single transaction.

For more information, visit http://www.harryfox.com

Leave a Comment