The Mechanical Licensing Collective has officially started to collect mechanical royalties! Established as part of the landmark Music Modernization Act (MMA) of 2018, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) was designed with songwriters, composers, publishers, and lyricists in mind, many of whom previously faced issues collecting their entitled mechanical royalty payments from digital streaming services.
On January 1, 2021, the MLC started to remedy these issues by officially administering new blanket mechanical licenses for streaming and download services. Other royalties are not affected and will continue to be distributed in the same manner—such as through an existing PRO for a songwriter's performance royalties. Self-administered and independent songwriters who register their works through the Collective's portal(opens in a new tab) can expect to receive their first payment later this spring. For songwriters or composers signed with a publisher or working with a rights administrator, be sure to check with them to ensure that all of your works are properly registered with the MLC.
This collection service will continue to regularly distribute these royalties at no cost to creators. The MLC's $62 million budget is funded by the streaming services, as required by the MMA. And the MLC will also launch a comprehensive public musical works database to ensure transparency and accuracy.
While the Collective has only recently started to collect mechanical royalties from these services, the launch of this impactful tool is the result of years of advocacy, negotiations, and preparation. The Recording Academy played an instrumental role in drafting the MMA and pushed policymakers to remedy this chronic issue on behalf of songwriters.
Recently, the Recording Academy hosted a webinar(opens in a new tab) to explain how the service will help creators and address questions about eligibility and registration. The panel was moderated by the Recording Academy's Chief Advocacy Officer Daryl Friedman and featured Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr., MLC CEO Kris Ahrend, and songwriter and GRAMMY nominee Tayla Parx.