The Mechanical Licensing Collective Is Open For Business
The January 1st License Availability Date set by the landmark US Music Modernization Act (MMA) which offers digital audio services a blanket mechanical license covers virtually every musical work available on their U.S. services has arrived and with it the official launch of the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC).
The MLC was chosen to administer the new blanket license and services are required to send monthly usage reports and mechanical royalty payments to it.
The MLC will then match the usage to musical works owners using the data in its new musical works database, and distribute the royalties to music publishers, administrators and self-administered songwriters, composers and lyricists.
The MLC anticipates sending its first royalty payments in April.
“The MLC has spent more than a year preparing for the License Availability Date, developing numerous resources for creators and music publishers to help them navigate the changes to mechanical licensing, conducting crucial outreach with well over 50 digital service providers (DSPs) and undertaking a widespread outreach campaign to educate music publishers, administrators, self-administrated songwriters and others in the broader music industry about The MLC’s mission and purpose,” said Kris Ahrend, CEO of The MLC.
The MLC is in tlaks with more than 50 DSPs expected to be eligible to secure the new blanket license.
Benefits For Songwriters, Publishers & More
The MLC offers a number of benefits for rightsholders including The MLC Portal – a new online resource where Members of The MLC will be able to review and update their existing musical works data, submit new registrations for new musical works and, starting later this Spring, access their royalty statements.
Since beginning the roll-out of The MLC Portal in September of last year, more than 8,000 Members have been invited to set up their user accounts and Member profiles in The MLC Portal, which will continue to be enhanced for even greater functionality.
Prospective members who have not yet begun that process can now do so by clicking on the “Connect to Collect” button on The MLC’s website. The MLC has established a page on its website where visitors can find detailed information about Membership at TheMLC.com/membership.
The MLC has also launched its new public musical works database. Interested parties can now access the database via the “Public Search” button located at the top of the home page of The MLC’s website. Starting next week, The MLC will launch its Bulk Data Access subscription program, allowing subscribers to download a set of files containing all of the musical works ownership data in The MLC’s database.
The MLC will provide weekly updates to these files to ensure that subscribers have access to the most current version of The MLC’s data. This public access to The MLC’s data will provide greater transparency around the new blanket mechanical licensing process.
Recognizing both the importance for rightsholders to check the accuracy of their data and the inherent challenges in doing so, The MLC launched its innovative Data Quality Initiative (DQI)last year, allowing rightsholders to compare large schedules of their own musical works data with The MLC’s data in order to identify any discrepancies between the two.
Starting last Spring, The MLC launched a comprehensive outreach campaign to educate prospective Members. It will continue this year a “Self-Administered Songwriters” series and the addition of regular informational webinars for MLC Members.
The MLC’s Music Data Organization Worksheet– designed to help self-administered songwriters through the process of collecting the data they need to register their works with The MLC – has been downloaded more than 1,000 times, and the organization also recently unveiled a free Educator Toolkit designed to help college educators teach music and music business students about the changes to digital audio mechanical rights under The MMA and The MLC’s role in those changes.