Copyright Law

Songwriters, publishers must be paid late fees, U.S. Copyright Office confirms, NMPA responds

The U.S. Copyright Office (USCO) has confirmed that late fees must be paid to songwriters and music publishers if digital music services do not make royalty payments by the deadlines established under the Music Modernization Act.

The MMA’s blanket mechanical license requires monthly royalty payments must be paid to the Mechanical Licencing Collective no later than forty-five days after the end of the monthly reporting period. Today’s ruling confirmed that if that deadline is not met, songwriters and music publishers must be paid a late fee.

“creators have waited far too long”

“This is a major victory for music creators who have waited far too long to be made whole from the appeal, which significantly delayed their compensation,” said NMPA President & CEO David Israelite. “The USCO’s decision reiterates our assertion that the due dates are unambiguous and any past-due payments to the MLC must come with appropriate statutory penalties.”

Bruce Houghton is the Founder and Editor of Hypebot, a Senior Advisor at Bandsintown, President of the Skyline Artists Agency, and a Berklee College Of Music professor.

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