Billboard: Mechanical Licensing Collective: How to Register and Why It's Important By Chris Eggertsen

The who, what and how for musicians and publishers looking to utilize the MLC.
In Oct. 2018, the landmark Music Modernization Act (MMA) was signed into law by President Donald Trump following a years-long push by musician advocates and several U.S. lawmakers. Among other things, the bill established a new blanket mechanical license for digital mechanical royalties, which will be exclusively administered by the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), the nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to take on that role.

The MLC, which officially launched operations on Jan. 1, 2021, is on track to begin paying out royalties from roughly 50 digital services providers [DSPs] including Spotify, Apple Music and Pandora in mid-to-late April. With roughly two months to go, the organization is now strongly encouraging all musical rights holders to register their works via the MLC website to ensure they get paid.

How much in unpaid royalties is out there? The organization has already received over $424 million in accrued unmatched royalties from those DSPs, it was announced on Feb. 16.

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