Copyright Office Issues Final Rule Designating Mechanical Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator Under the Music Modernization Act
Issue No. 773 - July 5, 2019

The U.S. Copyright Office has designated entities to serve as the mechanical licensing collective (MLC) and the digital licensee coordinator (DLC) under the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA).

The MMA directs the Register of Copyrights to designate a nonprofit entity operated by copyright owners as the MLC, which will administer the statute’s new blanket compulsory licensing system for digital music providers beginning on January 1, 2021. Among other duties, the MLC will be responsible for receiving usage reports from digital music providers, collecting and distributing royalties, and administering a process by which copyright owners can claim ownership of musical works (and shares of such works). The MMA also authorizes the Register to designate an entity as the DLC, which will represent digital music services in the administration of the license.

To make these selections, the Office conducted an extensive public inquiry in which it solicited proposals from entities seeking to be designated as the MLC or DLC, as well as comments from interested members of the public. In response, the Office received over 600 comments from stakeholders throughout the music industry, including numerous copyright owners who provided endorsements for one or more of the entities seeking designation.

Based on this record and the statutory selection criteria, the Register has designated Mechanical Licensing Collective, Inc. as the MLC, and Digital Licensee Coordinator, Inc. as the DLC. The Office looks forward to working with these entities and other stakeholders as the MMA implementation process continues.

Additional information about the designation proceeding is available here.