I see where HFA lists the statutory rate at 9.1 cents for up to 5 minutes,
but my reading of the statute is that the royalty rate is the larger of 2.75
cents per work and 0.5 cents per minute:

"With respect to each work embodied in the phonorecord, the royalty shall be
either two and three-fourths cents, or one-half of one cent per minute of
playing time or fraction thereof, whichever amount is larger."(17 USC

My calculations and reading of the statute (both probably flawed) suggest a
statutory royalty rate of 2.75 cents for any work of 5 minutes or less,
though this would obviously mean going to the significant trouble of getting
the compulsory license yourself...

Could someone either correct my calculation or help me understand how HFA
derives a 9.1 cent royalty rate from statutory text?  Or is this (as I'm
assuming) the way they cover their costs?  The relevant statute, if other
than 115(c)(2), would be especially helpful.


-----Original Message-----
From: Association for Recorded Sound Discussion List
[mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Matt Sohn
Sent: Saturday, August 28, 2010 10:47 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [ARSCLIST] (copyright vs public domain

>> I do transfers for a small dance record company who has 
>> 50 yo masters and releases to reissue them. We have 
>>  >>sent Harry Fox org. payment for mechanical releases on 
>> covered songs. 100 records of a song @ .08 per song 
>>  >>and have the uncanceled check returned... no 
>> explanation... it cost more than the paper work 
>> involved...... a >>good reason RCA, Universal, et al wont 
>> talk to any one about vaulted material.

>Your check could have been returned because the statutory 
>rate is 9.1 cents per song, not 8 cents. Call them up >and 
>see if they can give you a reason why your request was 
>rejected, but that might have something to do with it.

I thought that the minimum was 500 units for mechanical 
licenses. Correct me if I'm wrong.

-Matt Sohn