Frequently Asked Questions

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The MLC has developed frequently asked questions designed to help self-administered songwriters and music publishers learn more about our organization, our work to achieve The MLC's mission, and the tools available to help prepare for The MLC Portal. Click the links below to learn more.


You’ve probably heard a lot about The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) but what exactly does it do and how will it ultimately change the music industry? The following questions give an overview of the trailblazing organization.

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Connect to Collect

Anyone who wishes to receive digital audio mechanical royalties from The MLC will need to become a Member of The MLC. Becoming a Member of The MLC is how you will Connect to Collect these royalties. The following questions discuss who exactly needs to Connect to Collect on your behalf and how the process works.

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Music Industry Terminology

Like every industry, the music industry often uses its own jargon and terminology. In this section we've defined some of the most frequently-used terms that are important to understand as you begin the process of becoming a Member of The MLC. 

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Play Your Part

Play Your Part is an initiative that outlines the specific steps you need to take to ensure you receive all of the mechanical royalties you are owed. It all begins with Connect to Collect, which refers to the process of becoming an MLC Member. You Connect by joining The MLC and registering your musical works data, thus positioning yourself to Collect the mechanical royalties you may be owed. Play Your Part continues with maintaining your works data and spreading the word with your peers.

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Royalty Payments

The MLC distributes digital audio mechanical royalties to eligible self-administered songwriters, composers, lyricists, music publishers, administrators and CMOs on a monthly basis. In this section, we cover how The MLC’s overall royalty distribution process works and specifically address the timing and cadence of payments, the royalty rates and terms used by The MLC, the payment options available to MLC Members and more.

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Phono 4 

Click here to view details and answers to basic questions about the Phonorecords IV (Phono 4) rate period and the rates and terms that became effective on January 1, 2023. The information provided is a courtesy and does not substitute for or supersede the published rates and terms or the obligations of Blanket Licensees under 17 U.S.C. 115 or 37 C.F.R. Parts 210 and 385. Please consult legal counsel with any questions about obligations under the rates and terms.

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Historical Unmatched: Impact of Prior Settlements 

Rightsholders who have been identified by certain digital service providers (DSPs) as securing voluntary licenses or private agreements may affect the distribution of royalties for historical unmatched usages that are ultimately matched or are distributed according to market share.  This section details how such voluntary licenses and private agreements can impact a rightsholder’s entitlement to such historical unmatched royalty payments and outlines the requirements outlined by the US Copyright Office to affected rightsholders who wish to contest or dispute the distribution of royalties at issue.  

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