Protection of Confidential Information by the Mechanical Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator

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 a notice of proposed rulemaking regarding the protection of confidential information by the mechanical licensing collective (MLC) and digital licensee coordinator (DLC).

The MMA directs the Copyright Office to issue regulations providing for appropriate procedures to ensure that confidential, private, proprietary, or privileged information contained in the records of the MLC and DLC is not improperly disclosed or used, including through any disclosure or use by the board of directors or personnel of either entity, and specifically including the unclaimed royalties oversight committee and the dispute resolution committee of the MLC.

After soliciting public comments through a notification of inquiry, and having reviewed and carefully considered all relevant comments, the Office is issuing a proposed rule to define “confidential information” and propose various categories of permitted disclosure and use of confidential information by MLC employees, board and committee members of the MLC and DLC, and vendors and agents of the MLC and DLC. The Office solicits public comments on the proposed rule.

Written comments on the proposed rule must be received no later than June 8, 2020, at 11:59 p.m. eastern time. The instructions on how to request an ex parte meeting are available here. In light of the MMA’s statutory deadlines, the Office does not anticipate extending the deadline for public comments in this rulemaking.