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FAQ: What Is a Notice of Intent (NOI)?

Posted by Glen Sears | December 11, 2015 12:55 pm | No Comments

MediaNet FAQ

Publishers take many forms. Large companies, small mom-and-pop shops, or even artists themselves. The thing that remains the same is what a publisher does: ensure songwriters and composers receive payment when their compositions are used commercially.

Throughout the course of being a publisher, you will almost certainly receive at least one Notice of Intent to acquire a “compulsory mechanical license.” If a composition has already been commercially recorded and released to the public, and a party wishes to record and distribute that composition themselves (and they are not the original songwriter), they must obtain a mechanical license from a publisher.

Sometimes, publishers can’t be contacted or won’t agree to a direct deal. In this scenario, Section 115 of the 1976 U.S. Copyright Act allows the party to obtain a “compulsory” mechanical license. This means a composition can be re-recorded and/or distributed without the publisher’s express permission, provided the publisher is paid the standard royalty rates set out by Congress.

The Copyright Act also requires parties acquiring compulsory licenses to provide publishers with a Notice of Intent (NOI). This NOI alerts the publisher that their musical property is being used. Often royalty statements (and payments) will follow thereafter.

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