The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) was designated by the U.S. Copyright Office in 2019 to carry out the vision of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) passed unanimously by Congress in 2018. Thanks to the work of songwriter advocates and the Members of Congress who supported this legislation, the creation of The MLC has revolutionized the way rightsholders receive their mechanical royalties.

The U.S. Copyright Office and The MLC work closely together to ensure all of The MLC’s operations, policies and procedures support songwriters and The MLC’s mission. Both entities collaborate to promote education that helps creators understand the new blanket license and how to collect their mechanical royalties. 

Thanks in part to this collaboration, The MLC has reached many milestones since beginning operations in 2021, including paying out over $1 billion in royalties to rightsholders.

The MMA directed the Register of Copyrights to designate a nonprofit entity operated by copyright owners as the MLC, which began administering the statute’s new blanket compulsory licensing system for digital music providers on January 1, 2021.

The MMA authorizes the Register to designate an entity as the MLC and the DLC. To make these selections, the Office conducted an extensive public inquiry in which it solicited proposals from entities seeking to be designated as the MLC or DLC, as well as comments from interested members of the public. In response, the Office received over 600 comments from stakeholders throughout the music industry, including numerous copyright owners who provided endorsements for one or more of the entities seeking designation. Based on this record and the statutory selection criteria, the Register designated Mechanical Licensing Collective, Inc. as the MLC, and Digital Licensee Coordinator, Inc. as the DLC.

Among other duties, the MLC is responsible for receiving usage reports from digital music providers, collecting and distributing royalties, building a public musical works database and administering a process by which copyright owners can claim ownership of musical works (and shares of such works).

Yes! Even though you’ve registered your musical works with us, you should also register all your works with the U.S. Copyright Office. This creates a public record of the works you own, giving you extra protection from copyright infringement.

Read more about registering your music here:

Royalty rates and terms are determined by the Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) through “rate proceedings” that occur every five years. While The MLC is prohibited by law from taking part in those proceedings, representatives of both copyright holders and DSPs do participate.

You can sign up for updates on CRB proceedings, the MMA and policy studies here.

Anyone can reach out to the U.S. Copyright Office online at: