HFA Streamlines Live-CD Licensing

Companies that want to make CDs or digital files of concerts available right after the show can now streamline the mechanical licensing process, which has presented hurdles for promoters in the past.

The Harry Fox Agency today (Dec. 9) announced its new "Express Live" program to offer mechanical license terms that fit this emerging market.

Under standard licensing for CDs, companies that want to manufacture and distribute recorded compositions must obtain mechanical licenses before the recording, and the process can take 30 or more days.

W ith Express Live licensing, a company submits the artist's anticipated set list at least 15 days before the concert and requests the mechanical license. If the compositions belong to any of the 27,000 publishers that HFA represents, the licenses will cover products sold directly to consumers immediately after the event.

If the artist performs unanticipated songs, a "grace period" permits the company to request licenses the following business day -- but HFA cannot guarantee that publishers will license those songs after they have been recorded. Publishers must also approve -- in advance -- any substantial changes to songs that would not be permitted under the Copyright Act's compulsory license provisions, such as medleys.

"It's an exciting opportunity that can transform the bootleg market into a recorded concert business," says Michael Simon, HFA senior VP of licensing.


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