Harry Fox Agency

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Harry Fox Agency
Formation1927; 96 years ago (1927)
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
Parent organization
The Blackstone Group

The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is a provider of rights management and collector and distributor of mechanical license fees on behalf of music publishers in the United States. HFA has over 48,000 music publishing clients and issues the largest number of licenses for physical and digital formats of music.[1] It was founded in 1927 by the National Music Publishers Association.[2] The agency was sold to performing rights organization SESAC in 2015,[3] which was itself acquired by The Blackstone Group in 2017.[4]


HFA provides the following services to its affiliated publishers:

  • Issues mechanical licenses[5]
  • Collects and distributes mechanical royalties
  • Conducts royalty examinations
  • Pursues piracy claims
  • Offers rights management solutions: Slingshot


Songfile is an online mechanical licensing tool designed for the D.I.Y music industry market. It allows the public to search through over millions of songs and purchase licenses. A mechanical license is needed if one wants to manufacture and distribute recordings that they did not write.[6] Through Songfile, licenses can be obtained for physical works, permanent digital downloads (PDDs), ringtones, and interactive streaming distribution.[7] Users pay a per-song processing fee and royalties for licenses, which are set at the current U.S. statutory rate.[8]


Services include end-to-end support for: Licensing, Database Management, Royalty Services, Content Consulting, and Auditing.[9]

Copyright claims[edit]

In October 2012, HFA became involved with copyright claims of musical works in the public domain on YouTube. As the designated YouTube administrator for thousands of music publishers, HFA uses the Content Management System (CMS) to review YouTube user disputes for the use of song compositions protected under copyright law. Many arrangements of public domain works are under copyright, even if the original is not, and because the CMS tool is not perfect, some false disputes are created.


  1. ^ "NMPA". NMPA. Archived from the original on 2006-08-22. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  2. ^ Al Kohn; Bob Kohn (2010). Kohn on Music Licensing. Aspen Publishers. p. 809. ISBN 978-0-7355-9090-8.
  3. ^ SESAC Buys the Harry Fox Agency Ed Christman, Billboard, July 7, 2015
  4. ^ Blackstone’s Latest Move Has the Look of a Hit Jennifer Saba, New York Times, January 5, 2017
  5. ^ "How to Obtain Mechanical Licenses - The Harry Fox Agency". Harryfox.com. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  6. ^ "Music Business Tips: What does the Harry Fox Agency Do?". Musicbiztips.info. 2011-06-03. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  7. ^ "HFA Songfile". Harryfox.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  8. ^ "Statutory Reports". Harryfox.com. 2009-03-01. Retrieved 2013-11-03.
  9. ^ "Harry Fox Agency | Slingshot". Hfaslingshot.com. Retrieved 2013-11-03.