Essentials of Licensing for Sound Recordings
To help answer many of the questions about mechanical licensing, the following is a brief guide to the essentials of this process.
Mechanical licenses are licenses issued to manufacturers of audio products, such as records, audio tapes and compact discs.
- Permission to obtain a mechanical license for first time recordings (e.g. Premiere Recordings) is required and may be obtained by contacting G. Schirmer
G. Schirmer, Inc.
Attn: Mechanical Licensing Manager
1247 Sixth Street
Santa Monica, CA 90401
310 393-9900 phone
310 393-9925 fax
You can download a printable "Mechanical License Request" in Adobe Acrobat® format.
Copies of the Premiere Recording will be required by the Composer and the Publisher for copyright and promotional purposes, the exact amount to be determined by the Publisher. We also request that the G. Schirmer, Inc. logo be included on the label, jacket or insert of all Premiere Recordings. We will be happy to provide you with this art work.
- Licenses for Musical Compositions that have been recorded previously are referred to as COMPULSORY MECHANICAL LICENSES. This means that permission is not required to record these Musical Compositions and that the royalty rate is set by U.S. Laws concerning copyrights. This rate is called the STATUTORY RATE, which currently is $.091 for songs under five minutes and $.0175 per minute for songs over 5 minutes (rounded to the whole minute), per composition for each copy distributed.
The COMPULSORY MECHANICAL LICENSES are issued on behalf of the publisher (copyright owner or administer of copyright ownership) of the music composition used on the audio product. This remains the same for both Domestic product and Imported product.
The Harry Fox Agency, (212) 834-0100, is our licensing agent for MUSIC SALES CORP.; G. SCHIRMER, INC. and SHAWNEE PRESS and the affiliates of these companies for recordings released in the United States and can be contacted at:
The Harry Fox Agency
601 W. 26th St, Suite 500
New York, NY 10001
(212) 953-2384 (fax)
web: harryfox.com and songfile.com
For Canadian releases contact:
Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency
56 Wellesley St. W. #320
Canada M5S 2S3