Copyright Office Requests Public Comments for its Unclaimed Royalties Study
Issue No. 827 - June 1, 2020

As required by the Music Modernization Act, the U.S. Copyright Office is undertaking a study to recommend the best practices the MLC may implement to identify and locate musical work owners with unclaimed accrued royalties held by the MLC, encourage musical work copyright owners to claim their royalties, and ultimately reduce the incidence of unclaimed royalties. To aid this effort, the Office is soliciting relevant information from the public, including from the music industry and other interested parties, on the specific subjects of inquiry set forth in a notice published in the Federal Register. To assist the public in submitting comments for this policy study, the Office commissioned a report by Music Confidential’s Susan Butler on certain matching and royalty distribution practices and, to a limited extent, related matching activities of global collective management organizations. Ms. Butler’s report, along with the Office’s December 2019 educational symposium, are being offered as baseline informational material that commenters may choose to reference in submitting comments for this study. This specific study is not intended to examine or address more general questions about statutory royalties or MMA-related regulations.

Written comments must be received no later than August 3, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Written reply comments must be received no later than August 31, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. The Federal Register Notice and specific instructions for submitting comments are posted on the Copyright Office’s website. The Office will be announcing one or more in-person or virtual public meetings, to take place after written comments are received, by separate notice in the future.