(CelebrityAccess MediaWire) — The Harry Fox Agency has launched a new version of HFA Songfile, its online song search and mechanical licensing tool designed for those who plan to make 2,500 copies or less of their recordings. Available through harryfox.com, licensees can now obtain licenses for permanent downloads (referred to in the U.S. Copyright Act as digital phonorecord deliveries, or "DPDs"), in addition to licenses for CDs, cassettes, and vinyl records. This enhanced version of HFA Songfile is also easier to navigate, has improved transaction processing, and will retain a history of the licenses that a customer has purchased. HFA represents nearly 1.5 million songs from almost 28,000 music publishers, so it is likely that users will be able to find exactly what they are looking for, and in most cases, will have their HFA mechanical license within 24 hours, if not minutes.
"With the explosion of digital delivery, it was critical to add full, permanent downloads as an option through HFA Songfile," said Maurice Russell, Vice President of Licensing, HFA. "The other improvements will make it even easier for groups creating small quantities of recordings, such as independent bands, church choirs, and community groups, to obtain and track the HFA mechanical licenses for their recordings."
"HFA offers licensing options for all sizes of licensees – from multi-national music companies to garage bands. This is one of the real benefits to publishers that are represented by HFA," said Michael Simon, Senior Vice President of Licensing and the Chief of Strategic Development and Marketing, HFA. "Because we handle such a large volume of transactions, we can create and maintain the infrastructure needed to support these licensees."
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. Proper licensing ensures that the publisher, and ultimately, the songwriter, are compensated for the use of their work. Reputable replicators and online music sites require copies of licenses before duplicating recordings or offering them online.
HFA Songfile makes obtaining the required mechanical license easy. By using a credit card, customers can request their licenses through the online application. Royalties are calculated at the statutory mechanical rate (currently 8.5 cents per copy for songs five minutes or less in length, or 1.65 cents per minute (or fraction thereof) per copy, for songs over five minutes). There is also a nominal processing fee on each song licensed. If a user just wants to research, there is a separate HFA Songfile Public Search tool available free of charge.
HFA launched the first version of Songfile in July 1999. The new version was created by an in-house development team and uses Verisign for its transaction processing. –Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner