Play Your Part
The only way to receive digital audio mechanical royalties due to you from DSPs operating under the compulsory blanket mechanical license is to register your works with The MLC.
There are several ways you can register your musical works with The MLC.
If you want to register one work at a time with us, you can do so directly within The MLC Portal. You can use our Claiming Tool to search for musical works in our database that you wish to enter a claim to, or set up new works from scratch using the Portal screens.
If you want to bulk register multiple musical works with us:
- You can upload your bulk work registrations in The MLC Portal using the Bulk Work Registration file. Information about how to download, prepare and submit the Bulk Work Registration file is available within The MLC Portal. And you can click here to view a tutorial video that will guide you through the process.
- You can send us a Common Works Registration (CWR) file. For more information about CWR Registration, please contact The MLC Support Team here.
You can register musical works on a mobile phone or tablet. The MLC portal has been designed to work on both desktop and mobile devices.
When you register musical works with The MLC, you will not need to submit any audio files.
For music publishers who are affiliates of our administration vendor, HFA, you do not need to authorize HFA to share your musical works data with The MLC; we already have access to that data, and we will be using it as the starting point for The MLC’s musical works data.
There is no cost to register a musical work with The MLC.
Registering your musical works with The MLC does not replace other registration activities that a music publisher, administrator, or self-administered songwriter, composer, or lyricist should consider, such as registering their works with a performing rights organization in order to receive public performance royalties, or with the U.S. Copyright Office. For self-administered writers who are also recording artists, you should register your sound recordings with SoundExchange.
The screen text of The MLC Portal is in American English, however, a user of the Portal can enter data, such as musical works titles, in just about any language.
The MLC Portal is accessible by clicking the grey “Portal Login” button in the upper right hand corner of our homepage, and is designed to work seamlessly on both desktop and mobile devices, making it accessible virtually anytime and anywhere via your phone, tablet or computer.
If you need to become a Member of The MLC, click the blue Connect to Collect button in the upper right hand corner of our homepage to start the process.
The more information you provide us about sound recordings of your musical works, the more successful we will be at matching them to usage information reported to us by DSPs. You can provide us with the information when you register your musical works, or at a later time. You can submit any/all of the following information about sound recordings of your musical works:
- Sound recording title
- Sound recording version title (if applicable, e.g. Club Remix)
- Recording Artist name
- Record Label name
- Duration (i.e. playing time)
You can also use our Matching Tool to search for sound recordings of your musical works which have been used on digital services operating under the blanket license and recommend a match of those sound recordings to your musical works.
You do not need to notify The MLC if your musical work is available on a digital music service.
If you have assigned your rights to register your musical works and collect your mechanical royalties in the United States to a music publisher or publishing administrator, you do not need to become a Member of The MLC. Your publisher or administrator will handle your collection and registration. If you work with a music publisher or administrator in any capacity, please check with that music publisher or administrator before becoming a Member of The MLC.
Musical works which have been recorded and made available on interactive or permanent download audio digital service providers in the United States, and whose United States copyright protection has not expired, should be registered with The MLC.
Each party who has the right to register their own musical works with The MLC, and collect their own mechanical royalties, should register their share of the work. For example, if there are two self-administered songwriters, composers, or lyricists who co-wrote a work, and each one has the right to register their own share, and collect mechanical royalties for their own share, then each party should become a Member of The MLC, and separately register their share of the work. To contrast this example with another, if co-writers create a legal entity, which they co-own, and which has been assigned the right to register the co-written musical work with The MLC, and collect the related mechanical royalties, then the legal entity will register 100% of the musical work and collect the royalties.
The MLC’s Matching Tool is a data management tool used by MLC Members to search for sound recordings of their musical works which have been used on digital services operating under the blanket license. The Matching Tool is found within The MLC’s Portal. Once a Member finds a sound recording using the tool, they recommend a match of that sound recording to one of their musical works. If the Member is uncertain if the sound recording is of their musical work or not, they can often listen to the recording via the tool. MLC staff members review Member matching recommendations for accuracy before the data match is established in the database.
The MLC's Claiming Tool is a data management tool used by MLC Members to search for musical works in The MLC's database they wish to register a claim to. The tool provides Members with a way to reduce data entry by avoiding the need to set up a work from scratch in the database, and to ensure that all versions of their works in the database are claimed. The Claiming Tool is found within The MLC's Portal. MLC staff members review Member claims before they are established in the database.