We reported before on the (sadly inevitable) squabbling over the budget for the new Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) in the US, with the bill to be footed by digital music services. However, the latter’s representative in the negotiations, the Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC) has reached an agreement with the MLC to bring the argument to a close.

The MLC will now receive $33.5m for its startup costs, and an ‘initial annual assessment’ of $28.5m for 2021. “All costs will be divided up among licensees, with the largest services paying a greater share,” explained a joint announcement from the two bodies.

As it turned out, the agreed budget isn’t so different from what the MLC had been asking for: $37.25m for startup costs, and an annual assessment (budget) of $29m. “With this phase behind us, we will now continue our work together to finalise the operations and other requirements under the law as we prepare to help songwriters get the royalties they are owed,” said a joint statement from MLC board chair Alisa Coleman and DLC board chair James Duffett-Smith.

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