Music Modernization Act Notices of License, Notices of Nonblanket Activity, Data Collection and Delivery Efforts, and Reports of Usage and Payment

Pursuant to the Musical Works Modernization Act, title I of the Orrin G. Hatch–Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), and after soliciting public comments through a notification of inquiry, the Copyright Office is issuing a proposed rule governing notices of license, data collection efforts, reports of usage and payment by digital music provider blanket licensees (DMPs) and related records of use, notices of nonblanket activity and reports of usage by significant nonblanket licensees, and data collection efforts by musical work copyright owners. This proposed rule addresses a variety of reporting obligations between licensees and the mechanical licensing collective (MLC).

Regarding DMPs’ obligation to engage in good-faith data collection and delivery efforts, the rule proposes to establish a minimum floor requirement that is not intended to unduly burden DMPs but does constitute a continuous and ongoing obligation to attempt to collect relevant data. The rule also proposes regulatory language regarding the separate, commercially reasonable data collection efforts required of musical work copyright owners whose works are listed in the MLC’s database.

Regarding reports of usage, the rule proposes specific requirements for the general scheme whereby DMPs must report usage and pay royalties to the MLC on a monthly basis, with a cumulative annual report due each year, and an ability to make adjustments to monthly and annual reports and related royalty payments. The rule addresses the format, delivery, and specific content of such reports, as well as the associated provision of royalty payment and accounting information.

Relatedly, the rule proposes requirements under which DMPs must retain records and documents necessary and appropriate to support fully all of the information set forth in their reports of usage for a period of at least five years from the date of delivery of the particular report.

The rule also proposes regulatory language regarding obligations for notices of nonblanket activity and reports of usage by significant nonblanket licensees.

Written comments on the proposed rule were due May 22, 2020. Instructions on how to request an ex parte meeting are available here.