Frequently Asked Questions

Connect to Collect

Anyone who wishes to receive digital audio mechanical royalties from The MLC will need to become a “Member” of The MLC. This will include music publishers, administrators, ex-U.S. collective management organizations, and self-administered songwriters, composers and lyricists. Becoming a “Member” of The MLC is how you Connect to Collect. 

Members of The MLC will also be able to use The MLC’s user portal to register new musical works and review and update their existing musical works data in The MLC’s database. Although The MLC will not begin distributing royalties until 2021, it is important for writers and publishers to begin registering their new musical works and checking the accuracy of their existing musical works data now, to ensure their data is as accurate and complete as possible when The MLC begins processing royalties next year. 

Here’s who needs to Connect to Collect and become a Member of The MLC: 

  • Self-Administered Songwriters: Songwriters, composers and lyricists are “self-administered” if they have retained the right to register their own musical works with The MLC AND collect their own mechanical royalties directly or through a business manager, accountant, lawyer or other representative/agent). 

    • If you have assigned your rights to register your musical works and collect your mechanical royalties in the United States to a music publisher or administrator, you will not need to become a Member of The MLC. Your publisher or administrator will handle your collection and registration. If you work with a music publisher or administrator in any capacity, please check with that music publisher or administrator before becoming a Member of The MLC. 

  • Music Publishers and Administrators: Music publishers and administrators will need to become Members of The MLC in order to register the musical works they control with The MLC, review and update the data for those works, and collect mechanical royalties for those works. 

  • Ex-US Collective Management Organizations (CMOs): These CMOs will need to become Members of The MLC in order to register the musical works they control with The MLC, review and update the data for those works, and collect digital 

Yes, you will need to register with the MLC even if you are an affiliate of our administration vendor, HFA.  However, we have arranged for you to be able to authorize HFA to share your account information with The MLC. Saying “yes” to HFA’s opt-in request will allow us to prepopulate your account information in your new Member account with The MLC, saving you the time and trouble of having to resubmit that information to The MLC later.

The only way to receive digital audio mechanical royalties due to you from DSPs pursuant to the compulsory blanket mechanical license is to become a Member of The MLC.

There is no cost to become a Member of The MLC.

Becoming a Member of The MLC does not replace other membership activities that a music publisher, administrator, or self-administered songwriter, composer, or lyricist need to do, such as joining a performing rights organization in order to receive public performance royalties. For self-administered writers who are also recording artists, you should also register with or join SoundExchange.

Songwriters, composers, and lyricists who have retained the right to register any of their own musical works with The MLC AND collect their own mechanical royalties directly or through a business manager, accountant, lawyer or other representative/agent), should become Members of The MLC. However, they should only register the musical works which are not administered by another party with The MLC. The musical works which are administered by another party should be registered with The MLC by that party (e.g. a music publisher or administrator).

The answer depends on which parties have the right to register the co-written musical work with The MLC and collect the mechanical royalties. If co-writers create a legal entity, which they co-own, and which has been assigned the right to register the co-written musical work with The MLC, and collect the related mechanical royalties, then only the legal entity needs to become a Member. If each co-writer has retained their right to register musical works with The MLC and collect their own mechanical royalties, then each co-writer needs to become a Member of The MLC.