The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), the government-appointed and regulated agency for collecting and distributing blanket compulsory mechanical license for digital music services, has hired three new executives. The MLC was formed from the Music Modernization Act of 2018. It has taken time for that mission to get off the ground. Kris Ahren was named CEO in January 2020. Last month the unit received $424-million in royalty payments from Apple, Spotify, Google, Pandora, and 15 other streaming entities for distribution.
Below are summaries of the new executive hires, sent to us by the MLC’s PR group.
Kristen Johns, Chief Legal Officer
Kristen will be responsible for leading the organization’s strategic legal affairs, as well as managing the statutory blanket licensing process for digital service providers and overseeing compliance with statutory obligations.
An experienced intellectual property and technology lawyer, Kristen comes to The MLC from Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis, LLP in Nashville, where she was a partner at the firm. During her tenure at Waller, she advised clients on a variety of IP-related issues, including data security, privacy laws, and emerging technologies. She also helped to found and lead Tokenize Tennessee, a Nashville-based organization dedicated to encouraging the development of blockchain-based businesses in Tennessee. Prior to joining Waller, Kristen served as the General Counsel for a technology start-up and in-house Counsel for a healthcare IT company. In 2019, she received a ‘Women of Influence Award’ from the Nashville Business Journal, recognizing her leadership in the Nashville business and legal communities. Kristen holds a J.D. from the Saint Louis University School of Law and a B.S. in Engineering Science from Vanderbilt University.
Nathan Osher, Assistant General Counsel – Publisher Relations
Nathan will serve as The MLC’s primary in-house expert on music publishing and copyright issues, and he will also oversee the management and resolution of claims and litigation-related matters.
An entertainment attorney and executive for more than 20 years, Nathan has extensive experience in music publishing, and he has counseled clients on a variety of matters related to intellectual property rights, contracts, licensing and litigation. He most recently served as Senior Vice President of Legal & Business Affairs for Warner Chappell Music, Inc., the Los Angeles-based music publishing division of Warner Music Group, and was previously the General Counsel and Vice President of Business Affairs at Wixen Music Publishing, Inc. Nathan holds a J.D. from the University of West Los Angeles (CA) and earned a B.A. in Political Science from Loyola Marymount University.
Andrew Mitchell, Head of Analytics and Automation
Andrew will lead The MLC’s analytics and automation activities. In this capacity, he will oversee the design and implementation of business intelligence reporting for The MLC’s internal teams and develop strategies and tools for analyzing the usage reporting data The MLC receives from digital service providers. Andrew will also manage The MLC’s manual sound recording and musical works matching processes.
An established leader in Nashville’s business community, Andrew has more than 15 years of experience in operational excellence, analytics, business intelligence (BI), automation, process improvement, lean six sigma and global business transformation. He comes to The MLC from Warner Music Group, where he was the Vice President of Analytics & Process Automation, and previously spent a decade working in financial planning and analysis for Ingram Content Group. Andrew graduated from Miami University (Ohio) with a B.S. in Business and holds an M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management, where he graduated at the top of his class.