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Wouldn't he need to have a dba to collect his publisher's share anyway, and therefore be able to register with Harry Fox on his own? I'm a little confused with Songtrust's biz model vs. a regular admin deal, other than that they take a flat fee instead of a percentage.


Harry Fox only works with publishing companies. Songwriters cannot affiliate with HFA unless it's through a publishing company or dba.

That said, to affiliate with HFA, your publishing company must have had at least one song commercially released by a third party within the last twelve months.

For many independent songwriters - such as Daniel Snyder - they do not meet these requirements. Songtrust acts as a publishing administrator for independent songwriters, giving them the ability to register all their songs with HFA.


Well, would HFA still have mechanical royalties for me if I hadn't had a commercially released song?

I also just don't see how HFA would deny me access my royalties if they were sitting at HFA and I had a dba. A dba isn't very hard to get.

And, if I sign up with Songtrust and don't have a dba / publishing 'company,' wouldn't Songtrust be considered the original publisher on my songs, and I'd have to rely on their good faith to pass my publishing royalties along to me? Because as an OP, Songtrust would be legally entitled to the publisher's share.

p.s., it is not my intention to be rude, I am just very curious


Not at all, Jay! Thanks for the questions.

HFA is a liaison between record labels and third parties that release copyrighted material from publishers. If your material was not being released commercially by a label or another third party – there would be no need for HFA to step in and collect mechanicals. For example, if you were to self-release an album of your original songs, as your own record label, you would have to pay mechanical license fees to your publishing company (or dba) to reproduce those songs in album form. In theory, you’d be paying yourself. HFA wouldn’t been involved.

HFA will not deny your royalties, however they only work with and represent publishers. So, if you have a track on an album that was commercially released – and you'd like to handle collection yourself - we’d highly recommend creating a publishing company (or dba) and affiliating with HFA so you can collect those royalties.

As an OP, Songtrust (and all publishing companies for that matter) are entitled to claim and collect the publisher’s share on behalf of their writers. This capacity doesn’t automatically grant the publisher the right hold on to that money or keep it. The true legality of ownership in publishing comes down to the agreements between the publishers and individual writers. In all of Songtrust’s agreements, we pay 100% of all performance and mechanical royalties that are collected back to the songwriters and/or their individual publishing companies.

Ultimately, Songtrust has been built to make life easier for songwriters. We're cutting down on the time and effort required to collect royalties with our one-stop service.

Robbie Fields

The scenario sounds like a co-write on an album of obscure covers by a name group, like Slayer. The song is licensed through HFA and miraculously none of the other co-writers/publishers grabbed this one last fractional share.

Any copyright earning $2000 through HFA more than qualifies under the commercial release requirement. That's more than 20,000 units sold based on 100% ownership. More than 100,000 units on a convoluted

The fact that a writer could neglect to collect is no surprise.

Songtrust and its competitors do make the process simpler, even though it's not that complicated to capture the low hanging fruit.

Ironically, the momentum in royalty collection by HFA has ebbed in recent years. There was a time pre internet when the Fox agency were the big show. This is sadly no longer the case. They are just one of many significant income sources these days.

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