The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)

The Music Modernization Act (MMA), historic legislation designed to bring music copyright law into the digital age, was enacted into law in October 2018. Upon being enacted, the MMA directed the Register of Copyrights to designate an entity to administer the new blanket license created by the MMA, and to develop and maintain a comprehensive, publicly available database of musical works and sound recordings.

In 2019, after soliciting stakeholder input and proposals from organizations seeking to be designated as the entity responsible for administering the new blanket license, the Register of Copyrights officially designated The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) as the entity responsible for administering the new blanket license for digital uses of musical compositions.

The MLC’s mission is to ensure that songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers receive accurate and timely mechanical license royalty payments from streaming and download services across the U.S. To fulfill this goal, the MLC built a publicly accessible musical works database, along with a portal that creators and music publishers can use to submit and maintain their musical works data. It also developed a number of other related tools to ensure that the process of registering with the MLC (and tracking royalties through it) is a smooth and seamless process.

On January 1, 2021, the MLC began issuing blanket licenses to eligible digital service providers. The MLC has begun receiving blanket license royalty payments and will then match and distribute those royalties to copyright owners. The MLC anticipates sending out its first royalty payments and statements in April 2021.

To assist music creators, as well as all other relevant stakeholders, to better understand the MLC, how it works, and why it exists, we’ve have compiled the following information and links:

Tools and Resources

Educational Videos and Webinars

Blogs and Articles

Follow the MLC on Social Media