U.S. Copyright Office Issues Notice of Inquiry Regarding Designation of Mechanical Licensing Collective
Issue No. 736 - December 21, 2018

Pursuant to the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the recently-enacted Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a notice of inquiry seeking public comment regarding the designation of a mechanical licensing collective and a digital licensee coordinator to carry out key functions under the updated section 115 “mechanical” license for the reproduction and distribution of musical works; specifically, the creation and administration of a new blanket licensing system governing licensed uses by digital music providers.

As required by the MMA, the Copyright Office solicits information to assist in the Register designating an entity as the mechanical licensing collective (MLC) to administer the newly created blanket license, build and maintain a comprehensive database of musical works and sound recordings, and distribute collected royalties to songwriters and music publishers. The Office also solicits information to assist the Register in designating an entity as the digital licensee coordinator (DLC), which will represent digital music services in the administration of the license and in the determination of the administrative assessment fee paid by digital music providers for the reasonable costs of establishing and operating the new MLC.

The notice of inquiry and instructions on how to submit a comment are available here. Initial written comments in response to the notice of inquiry published on December 21, 2018 must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. eastern time on March 21, 2019. Written reply comments must be received no later than 11:59 p.m. eastern time on April 22, 2019.