I'm just about done with my CD. One of the last steps was paying for a song I'm using at the end of my CD. If you use a song which is not traditional, you need to pay liscening fees. Songs are different then stories or other forms of written prose. Almost all songs use the same royatly fee structure and its almost painless to use the system. You can apply for a license through HarryFox.com, an agency which covers most music publishers. If you go through hfa (Harry Fox Agency) you will pay a $15.00 processing fee. You can also go through the publish house that owns the song and maybe save the $15.00 but there may still be a processing fee and it might be a longer process.
You will need to have specific info ready- like recording legnth of song, title and writer of song, #of CD's to be made, release date of CD, the artists who record the song, name of CD, and basic personal info. The Royalty fee is based on the # of CD's made and the length of song. I believe it's 9.1 cents per each CD for songs up to 5 minutes long. If they are longer then 5 minutes the fee can be higher.
On a personal note, this step was a little scary for me, though I don't know why. Once I sat down at my computer and went to the right website (that took some time-I tried to go to the publisher- and their site was very confusing) the process was quick and easy.