Application process begins for the Music Modernization Act’s Mechanical Licensing Collective

The passage of the Music Modernization Act in October was hailed as a watershed moment for the industry, a big step to bring the law in line with the latest trends in how and where music consumption happens. Work has now begun to enact one of the Act’s critical measures.

The United States Copyright Office has formally started the process of creating a Mechanical Licensing Collective. The office put out a request for information that will influence the members it chooses for the MLC and the Digital Licensee Coordinator. Interested parties can submit written proposals through March 21, 2019 and the public can comment on the submissions through April 22.

The Copyright Office has until July 8 to select the applicant group to form the collective. The proposals should include business plans, opinions on whether the collective should take on debt, and guidelines for potentially using unclaimed accrued royalties to defray operating costs on an interim basis. An officer of the collective may not be an employee or agent of any members of the board of directors on any entities those people represent.

The broad scope of the request for information and the solicitation of opinions about key operating measures show how much remains up for debate with the new mechanical licensing rules.

Anna Washenko

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