What is the MLC?
The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) is a nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to collect digital mechanical royalties in the United States pursuant to the Music Modernization Act of 2018. The MLC is fully funded by Digital Service Providers such as Spotify, Amazon, Apple Music etc, meaning the operational costs are not passed on to songwriters and/or publishers.
What is a mechanical royalty?
A mechanical royalty is paid every time your song is reproduced. Simply put, every time your song is streamed on an interactive streaming platform like Spotify, Apple Music or YouTube, downloaded as an mp3 in a store like iTunes or Amazon, or sold on a physical product like a vinyl record or CD, your song has been reproduced and is due a mechanical royalty. This is a different royalty to that collected by BMI and ASCAP which is a performance royalty.
What royalties does the MLC collect?
The MLC will collect and pay mechanical royalties collected by eligible Digital Service Providers (DSPs) such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tidal, from within the United States only. The MLC will not collect mechanical royalties from those platforms outside of the United States. The MLC will also not collect mechanical royalties generated on platforms such as YouTube, Tik Tok and Facebook. The MLC does not collect royalties from physical sales (such as Vinyl, CDs etc). It also does not collect lyric-generated royalties (such as Instagram stickers). The MLC only covers a small number of income sources, TuneCore Publishing will ensure your works are registered with the MLC and hundreds of other societies.
What royalties does TuneCore Publishing collect that the MLC does not?
The MLC has a limited scope of royalties that it is able to collect. The MLC only collects domestic mechanical royalties from digital service providers such as Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music and Tidal as well as digital downloads from such as iTunes. The MLC does not collect mechanical royalties from platforms such as YouTube, Facebook or Tik Tok (also known as micro-sync royalties) or global mechanical royalties, performance royalties, print royalties, sync royalties, sync fees, non-interactive publishing royalties (from platforms such as Pandora, Sirius XM, Spotify Radio, Sonos Radio) nor does it collect sheet music and lyric reprint royalties (such as from Instagram Stickers). TuneCore Publishing will handle registration and collection of royalties on your behalf with the MLC, your local PRO such as BMI/ASCAP, as well as hundreds of other PROs, CMOs and MROs globally ensuring all of your income sources are covered. As well as negotiating sample licenses, sync etc on your behalf.
Do I need to register my works with the MLC if I’m a TuneCore Publishing client?
As a TuneCore Publishing client, no. The MLC is one of hundreds of collection societies around the world with which TuneCore registers your songs. TuneCore handles the administration of your works with your local PRO such as BMI or ASCAP, the MLC and the hundreds of equivalent societies around the world which means a more efficient and faster royalty collection process.
What territories does the MLC collect royalties from?
The United States only. The MLC does not collect mechanical royalties from DSPs outside the United States. TuneCore Publishing handles the registration and collection of those royalties with the hundreds of other CMOS and MROs around the world.
How does the MLC work?
Starting in January 2021, The MLC will issue and administer blanket mechanical licenses to eligible streaming and download services (digital service providers or DSPs) in the United States. The MLC will then collect the royalties due under those licenses from the DSPs and pay songwriters, composers, lyricists, and music publishers.
The MLC is also building a publicly accessible musical works database, as well as a portal that creators and music publishers can use to submit and maintain their musical works data. These tools will help ensure that creators and music publishers are paid properly.