The Harry Fox Agency

The Harry Fox Agency (HFA) is the premier mechanical licensing agent and provider of rights administration services in the U.S and the largest U.S. aggregator of publishing and recording data. We have a dynamic and expanding database of over 3.84M songs and administer nearly 16 million licenses for CDs, ringtones, permanent digital downloads, interactive streams, limited downloads, lyrics, tablature, jukeboxes and more.
OK, here's the situation. A band I am working with just finished recording a new record. The record has 3 covers and 6 original songs. Via www.harryfox.com, we have been able to make the copyright arrangements for one of the songs and using U.S. Copyright Office find information to copyright the 2nd song.

Here's the problem, the last cover song was written by a pretty obscure band (I'd rather not disclose who at this time) that was together from 1996 - 1998. Through a "copyright control" agreement they mutually allowed another significantly more popular band to record and release a version of the song (I purchased the CD to see if we could find out any copyright info about the song, all it said was song "XYZ written by Original band ABC, Copyright Control").

The original band does NOT seem to have any publishing arrangements or copyright information on file, nor does it seem that they ever released an album or CD. I can find no evidence of any record label affiliation nor can I locate the address of any of the members. My understanding is that we need to send an "Notice of Intent to Obtain a Compulsary License" form to the copyright holder or to their agent.

So that's the dilemma -- how do I do the right thing when I can't locate any info that would allow me to get the Notice of Intent to the right party and make the .9 cent payment per song for at least 1000 songs.

I would appreciate any advice from experienced people who may know how to properly address this problem. Rather than focus on creative ways of finding the band members i.e. using this forum, yellow page search, I would like to know if there is a way to file the notice and put the royalties in escrow until I may be able to find a band member.

Tim Cochran