Ever since I wrote the article “How To Get A Facebook, Instagram and Oculus Direct License For DIY Musicians & Indie Publishers” for the TuneRegistry blog, musicians who own their publishing have flooded my inbox with questions regarding the Harry Fox Agency Online Account application process.
The Harry Fox Agency represents the reproduction rights in songs for thousands of publishers in the United States and issues millions of direct and complusory mechanical licenses to music users on behalf of its HFA affiliate publisher members. In addition, its Rumblefish division performs an array of licensing and administrative (e.g. royalty accounting) responsibilities for dozens of digital service providers, start-up music apps/websites, and other digital music clients. In a word, HFA issues licenses, collects royalties, and make payments to rights-holders to the tune of hundreds of millions of dollars annually.
An HFA Online Account enables publishing rights-holders who are not eligible to become an HFA affiliate (e.g. DIY musicians) to still receive and enter into some direct licenses for the use of their songs in the products and services of HFA/Rumblefish clients. This includes powerhouses like Spotify, Facebook/Instagram and LyricFind, among many others. Once you’ve entered into a license, you must give HFA a list of your songs with proper metadata. You can remit your catalog of license-ready songs to HFA, and other music rights organizations and rights clearance houses, via directly from within your TuneRegistry account.
Admitingly, I did not go into much detail in the Facebook license blog in regards to how to apply for an HFA Online Account (although, I did include the HFA client services email for additional questions). Having reviewed the application form, I can see how a DIY musician could become confused. The form was designed for publishers and administrators, so a DIY musician who wears the hat as his/her own music publisher may get easily confused.
To aid in providing clarity to DIY musicians, I have written instructions for each question/field on the application form in the order as it appears. This should clarify the questions that I often receive regarding the application form.
[Note: In writing this article, I sought feedback from John Raso, VP of Client Services at Harry Fox Agency, who verified and approved my field instructions/comments and added his own notes as needed. Where applicable, I have included additional notes from John below.]
Form completion instructions for an HFA Online Account publisher application for DIY musicians who own and control their publishing and do not have a publishing deal or an applicable publishing administration deal:
1. Publisher Name: If you have a publisher or have hired a publishing administrator, stop here. Your publisher should be handling licensing with HFA.You can contact your publishing representative for clarification. If you do not have a publisher, then enter your publishing entity name as used with ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC. If you have not created a publishing company and joined ASCAP, BMI, or SESAC enter your full legal name.
2. HFA Account P#: Skip, unless you’ve received correspondence from HFA with an HFA Account P#.
3. Administrator Title: Enter “Self” if you are representing yourself. Enter the title of your representative if you’re giving them authority to oversee your HFA Online Account (e.g “Manager”, “Attorney”).
4. Administrator Name: Enter your full legal name if you are representing yourself or enter the full name of your authorized representative who will be overseeing your HFA Online Account. This is just who should be contacted aout your catalog.
5. Administrator Mailing Address: Enter the contact information of the individual identified in #4. Where should HFA mail things to?
6. Administrator Settings: This is where much of the confusion arises. Here are some scenarios:
For additional questions or to check on the status of an HFA application, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.