A major component of the recently passed Music Modernization Act is a new entity known as the Music Licensing Collective (or MLC), designed to manage blanket licensing, gather money from streaming platforms, and payout revenue to copyright owner. Here we review some key things songwriters should know before the MLC goes into effect.
One of the many aspects of the recently passed Music Modernization Act by Congress is what’s known as the Music Licensing Collective, or MLC. This is the new entity that’s going to manage blanket licensing, collect money from streaming services, and pay copyright owners in the future. It’s slated to begin on January 1st, 2021 and will be funded by the streaming music platforms.
What Will The MLC Do?
Songwriters receive two kinds of royalties. Performance royalties are paid to those that are affiliated with a performing rights organization, meaning either ASCAP, BMI, GMR or SESAC.
Mechanical streaming royalties are a different story however. Streaming platforms must license millions of individual songs and there’s no single agency that currently does this job. Right now, music publishers either collect mechanical royalties for a songwriter or they hire a third-party company to collect the royalty for them. The problem is that many self-published songwriters end up paying someone to collect these royalties, or they attempt to do the job themselves, which can be complicated and time-consuming. As a result, many don’t even bother with collecting them at all.
The MLC hopes to remedy that by acting as a one-stop source for easy licensing and collection and distribution of streaming mechanical royalties. The best part is that it’s free – all you have to do is join as soon as it gets going.