Play Your Part™

How Can YOU Play Your Part™?

It all begins with “Connect to Collect™”, which refers to the process of becoming an MLC Member. You Connect by joining The MLC and registering your musical works data, thus positioning yourself to Collect the mechanical royalties you may be owed. And remember, by law all of The MLC’s services to Members are offered completely free of charge. 

You also can Play Your Part by spreading the word about The MLC. Tell your colleagues and collaborators who have not yet joined The MLC about your personal experience working with us, direct them to our website for more information and encourage them to sign up for our newsletter here.  

Below we outline the specific steps you should take to Play Your Part depending on if you are a self-administered songwriter, publisher/administrator/CMO or published/administered songwriter: 

Self-Administered Songwriters

Step 1: Connect To Collect  

Check Your Eligibility – Songwriters, composers and lyricists are self-administered (also known as self-published or independent) if they have retained the right to manage all or part of their own musical works AND collect their mechanical royalties either directly or through a representative such as a business manager, accountant, lawyer or agent. All self-administered songwriters MUST join The MLC to be eligible to receive mechanical royalties.   

Not sure if you’re self-administered? Review these four questions.  

Join/Become a Member – If you have determined that you identify as a self-administered songwriter, you can begin the Membership process by clicking the Connect to Collect button on the top right of this page. This will take you to the sign-up page for The MLC Portal, where you will go through the two-step process of first setting up a User account with all of your necessary contact information and then creating your Member profile.   

Once you have created your Member profile and The MLC has verified your account information, you will be able to use The MLC Portal to register, edit and review your musical works data; create and submit registrations for any new musical works; manage and update your contact information, banking details and tax forms and invite other users to set-up their own user accounts under your MLC Member profile. 

Note: If you are based outside the United States and work with a mechanical rights organization or collective management organization (CMO) in that country, those organizations may already be authorized to administer and collect your share of mechanical royalties on your behalf. You should check with the mechanical rights organization or CMO directly to confirm whether or not you must join The MLC.  

You can watch this MLC webinar that details the entire Membership process for self-administered songwriters.  

Step 2: Register Your Data 

For Members, “Data is your path to dollars.” In other words, registering your musical works data accurately and comprehensively is the key to ensuring you receive all of the royalties you are owed. Any issues with your data may result in delays in receiving your payments.  

  • Here are three options for registering existing or new works with The MLC: 
  • Register individually (song by song) directly in The MLC Portal. 
  • Upload your bulk work registrations in The MLC Portal using the Bulk Work Registration file. You can find information about how to download, prepare and submit the Bulk Work Registration file in The MLC Portal and you can watch this tutorial video for a guide through the process. 
  • Send us a Common Works Registration (CWR) file. Contact The MLC Support Team directly for more information about this option.   

Self-administered songwriters are encouraged to utilize this PDF, which walks them through the specifics of the information they will need to compile and organize before they begin registering their data.  

Step 3: Check your Data and Register New Musical Works  

Ensuring the accuracy of your musical works data will be an ongoing process. You can always check your data in your Member Profile in the Portal and make any edits that are needed directly. You can also access and review your data in The MLC’s Public Work Search

As you add new musical works or songs to your catalog, you should immediately register them via The MLC Portal, utilizing the steps outlined above.  

Published & Administered (including CMOs) Songwriters

If you are a songwriter or other creator affiliated with a music publisher, administrator or CMO, those entities will manage your musical works data – and distribute any mechanical royalties you are owed – on your behalf.  

You can still Play Your Part, however, by periodically checking all of your musical works data for accuracy to make sure everything is current and updated. Utilize the free Public Works Search function on The MLC’s homepage to quickly search our database for all of the musical works attributable to you. And if you find any errors, you should contact your publisher, administrator or CMO directly to alert them to the errors and get them corrected as soon as possible.  

Publishers/Administrators/CMOs

Step 1: Connect to Collect 

Eligibility – If you are a publisher, administrator or CMO that has been designated by a rightsholder or rightsholders to collect mechanical royalties on their behalf, you must become an MLC Member.  

Join/Become a Member – publishers, administrators and CMOs can join by clicking the Connect to Collect button on the top right of this page. This will take you to the sign-up page for The MLC Portal, where you will go through the two-step process of first setting up a User account with all of your necessary contact information and then creating your Member profile. 

Step 2: Check Your Data 

The MLC created the Data Quality Initiative (DQI) to provide songwriters, music publishers, administrators and CMOs a streamlined way to compare their musical works data against The MLC’s data. In simple terms, think of the DQI as a data check that highlights discrepancies between the works you submit to us and those we have in our database.  

You can review this Fact Sheet for more detailed information about the DQI, and The MLC also has a number of archived webinars dealing with different facets of the DQI that are available here.  

Step 3: Register Musical Works 

Music publishers, administrators and CMOs have three options for registering existing or new works with The MLC: 

  • Register individually (song by song) directly in The MLC Portal. 
  • Upload your bulk work registrations in The MLC Portal using the Bulk Work Registration file. You can find information about how to download, prepare and submit the Bulk Work Registration file in The MLC Portal and you can watch this tutorial video for a guide through the process. 
  • Send us a Common Works Registration (CWR) file. Contact The MLC Support Team directly for more information about this option.   

As you add new musical works to your catalog, you should immediately register them via The MLC Portal, utilizing the steps outlined above.