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MMD > Archives > January 1997 > 1997.01.03 > 05Prev  Next


Re: Composer's Fees for Mechanical Music
By Matthew Caulfield

Re: Foxy Harry Fox Office: I am no expert on the compulsory licensing provisions of the Copyright act of 1976, but I think the Harry Fox Agency may be violating its licensing provision. My recollection is that the royalty is set by law and that it isn't up to the publisher to set it. If that were the case that the publisher could, any publisher could make an end-run around the "compulsory" aspect by setting the royalty at, say, $1000 per tune per copy.

If S. K. Goodman doesn't step in here with a definitive answer, I recommend calling the Copyright Office public information number, 202-707-3000; bring a sandwich to the phone and be prepared to beep thru various menu choices for the answer. Or call 202-707-9100, the copyright forms hotline, and ask for its compulsory licensing brochure. Or fax the Copyright General Counsel's office and ask whether what the Harry Fox Office is doing is legal (fax: 202-707-8366).

Oh, here is the number for the Copyright Office's Copyright Compulsory Licensing Public Office: 202-707-8150. Be aware that the first person who answers the phone there will probably be a secretary or office clerk; so you should diplomatically ask to speak to someone else who is knowledgeable about the law of compulsory licensing. (A good test is to ask whether the person answering is chewing gum or not.)

Matthew Caulfield


(Message sent Fri 3 Jan 1997, 15:15:10 GMT, from time zone GMT-0500.)

Key Words in Subject:  Composer's, Fees, Mechanical, Music

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