U.S. Copyright Office Issues Notice of Inquiry Regarding Music Modernization Act Blanket License Implementation Regulations
Issue No. 779 - September 24, 2019

Pursuant to the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), the U.S. Copyright Office has issued a notice of inquiry seeking public comment regarding implementation regulations for the new blanket section 115 “mechanical” license for making and distributing digital phonorecords of musical works, which will become available in 2021. The MMA specifically directs the Copyright Office to adopt a number of regulations to govern the new blanket licensing regime, including regulations regarding notices of license, notices of nonblanket activity, usage reports and adjustments, information to be included in the mechanical licensing collective’s database, database usability, interoperability, and usage restrictions, and the handling of confidential information. The statute also vests the Office with general authority to adopt such regulations as may be necessary or appropriate to effectuate this new blanket licensing structure.

The notice of inquiry and instructions on how to submit comments are available here. Initial written comments must be received no later than November 8, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time. Written reply comments must be received no later than December 9, 2019, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time.