The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has kicked off its inaugural MLC Week, launching a full week of panels and programming intended to provide important updates about The MLC’s progress as the organization prepares to launch its full operations in January 2021.
The first panel, entitled “Join us in Supporting The MLC,” aired on Monday, October 26 and was moderated byBillboard’s Robert Levine and included industry stakeholders discussing how The MLC will empower copyright holders around the globe. Representatives from the National Music Publishers’ Association, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Digital Licensee Coordinator, and U.S. Copyright Office, joined The MLC CEO Kris Ahrend and The MLC Board Chair Alisa Coleman (who also serves as ABKCO Music & Records, Inc. Chief Operating Officer) for a wide-ranging conversation about the history and origin of The MLC and the challenges the organization is working to address to improve the distribution of digital mechanical royalties.
Watch the archived panel discussion here.
Chief Executive Officer Kris Ahrend said, “This is a great panel discussion for future Members of The MLC to watch if they have not previously attended one of our past webinars and want to understand more about the history about the MMA and the creation of the MLC.”
During the discussion, Bart Herbison, Executive Director of the Nashville Songwriters Association International, urged songwriters to begin preparing their musical works data in order to join The MLC and begin collecting their mechanical royalties, stating, “I’m going to try to boil it down real quickly in layman’s terms for songwriters: You just have to make sure your data is given to us… I think we’re going to have thousands – maybe several thousand people – that for the first time ever, if they utilize The MLC, will get paid their mechanical royalties.”
National Music Publishers’ Association EVP and General Counsel Danielle Aguirre said, “This is a new system for everyone, including from the biggest music publisher to the smallest. They have to learn that we’ve now instituted a new system where you have to be a little more active, but the benefit of that is great – the ability to get paid everything that you’re actually owed from the use of your musical works is great and much more likely than it was under the prior system.”
Alisa Coleman added, “We [now] have an opportunity to really get proactive, to make sure our percentages are listed correctly in [The MLC] Portal, to make sure that the songs are matched to the right sound recording, [and] to really make sure that we’re collecting what we’re supposed to be collecting on behalf of the songwriters we represent because that’s what it’s all about. It’s all about helping the songwriters get what they need to get and what they deserve.”
Coleman also penned an op-ed published in Billboard that provides an overview of The MLC’s purpose and underscores the importance of supporting The MLC.
In the op-ed, Coleman writes, “When the music industry comes together, powerful things can happen… publishers, songwriters, and various digital service executives have donated hours to establish and launch the MLC, the non-profit organization that will collect and distribute mechanical royalties… To make this work, however, we need you -- your input, your engagement, and your data. And as the MLC prepares to begin fully operating in January 2021, that involvement is more important than ever.”
To read the full op-ed, click here.
MLC Week will continue through October 30 with additional webinars and interactive Q&A sessions with key leaders of The MLC. Coming up next:
- Tuesday, October 27 at 11am CT/ 12pm ET: “The MLC Portal” featuring The MLC’s Chief Information Officer Richard Thompson (Register Here)
- Wednesday, October 28 at 11am CT/ 12pm ET: “Members First: Making Customer Service our Priority” featuring The MLC’s Head of Customer Experience Lindsey Major and Head of Publisher Relations Maurice Russell (Register Here)
- Thursday, October 29 at 11am CT/ 12pm ET: “Engaging International, Educational and Third-Party Partners” featuring The MLC’s Head of Third-Party Partnerships Dae Bogan, Head of International Relations Indi Chawla, and Head of Educational Partnerships Serona Elton (Register Here)
- Friday, October 30 at 11am CT/ 12pm ET: “What’s Next: A Vision for the Future” featuring The MLC CEO Kris Ahrend and Music Business Association President Portia Sabin (Register Here)
For more information about MLC Week, to register for additional events, and to download social media sharegraphics to promote your support for The MLC, visit www.themlc.com/mlc-week.