The Harry Fox Agency has entered into two foreign reciprocal agreements-one with the Russia Authors Society (RAO) and one with southern Africa Music Rights Organisation (SAMRO)-for the licensing and collection of music copyright royalties in each others' territories.

The agreement with RAO covers the U.S. and Puerto Rico, and the Russian Federation. RAO reported $41.2 million in music-related revenues in 2007, a 35% increase from the previous year.

"Russia is one of the largest countries in the world, and since 1993, RAO has lead the effort to establish and enforce effective laws for copyright to create a real marketplace for music," HFA president and CEO Gary Churgin said in a statement. "We are very excited to offer our publishers the opportunity to work through HFA to collect their royalties from the use of their music in Russia, as well as being able to offer RAO's catalog to potential licensees in the United States."

RAO chairman Sergey S. Fedotov notes that in the 2000 U.S. Census, over 700,000 Russian speakers were counted. "We are pleased for this opportunity to have HFA represent RAO's catalog in the U.S., especially now that licensing terms for online music services have been determined for the American market," Fedotov said in a statement.

The agreement with SAMRO covers U.S. and Puerto Rico, and the Republic of South Africa. SAMRO, established in 1961, is the primary representative of music performing rights in southern Africa, the release states. SAMRO has a membership base in excess of 20,000 composers and authors of all nationalities in southern Africa, and the country's artist include Ladysmith Black Mambazo, Johnny Clegg and Mahotella Queens. The release notes that the music industry is the country's fifth largest economic sector, worth R7.4 billion (US $920 million).

"Since adding mechanical licensing to its services in 2006, SAMRO has been expanding its reciprocal relationships, and we are very happy to have concluded this agreement with HFA, linking us with the largest music market in the world," SAMRO executive GM of mechanical rights Joyce Schulten said in a statement.

HFA has reciprocal licensing agreements with over 30 rights societies around the world that allows it to pursue royalty collections for its affiliated publishers in 100 international territories, and provides for the foreign rights society partners to licensed and collect royalties for their reportoires from the U.S. music market.