The Music Modernization Act

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) updates the copyright law to make statutory licensing more fair for creators and more efficient for digital music providers. It is divided into three key titles:

  • Title IMusical Works Modernization Act;
  • Title IIClassics Protection and Access Act; and
  • Title IIIAllocation for Music Producers Act.

The U.S. Copyright Office has designated the Mechanical Licensing Collective, Inc. (The MLC) to collect and distribute mechanical royalty payments under Title I of the MMA. As of January 1, 2021, songwriters and music publishers must register with The MLC using its online claiming portal to receive royalty payments under the new blanket license.

Headphones on top of laptop

Title I—Musical Works Modernization Act

Downloads and Streaming

Title I establishes a blanket licensing system for digital music providers to make and distribute digital phonorecord deliveries (e.g., permanent downloads, limited downloads, or interactive streams).

Read more about Title I
Record player

Title II—Classics Protection and Access Act

Pre-1972 Recordings

Title II brings pre-1972 sound recordings partially into the federal copyright system and provides federal remedies for unauthorized use of sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972.

Read more about Title II
Musicians at computer; sound board

Title III—Allocation for Music Producers Act

Producers' Royalties

Title III allows music producers, mixers, and sound engineers to receive royalties collected for uses of sound recordings by codifying a process for the designated collective (Sound Exchange) to distribute those royalties under a “letter of direction.”

Read more about Title III