U.S. Copyright Office Issues an Interim Rule Related to the Music Modernization Act
Issue No. 868 - December 31, 2020

Pursuant to the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), the Copyright Office has issued an interim rule related to the public musical works database, as well as issues related to ensuring appropriate transparency of the mechanical licensing collective (MLC).

The interim rule is being issued after soliciting multiple rounds of public comments through two notifications of inquiry, a notice of proposed rulemaking, and engaging in numerous ex parte communications with commenters. The interim rule prescribes the categories of information to be included in the public musical works database and rules related to the usability, interoperability, and usage restrictions of the database. The interim rule also requires the MLC to disclose certain categories of information in its statutorily-required annual reports to ensure transparency of the collective itself and specifies requirements related to an abbreviated, one-time written public update in December 2021 regarding the MLC’s operations.

The rule becomes effective February 16, 2021.