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MLC confirms data partners and identity of its CIO


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Launch-funding secured, the US’ new Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is continuing to build its team and partnerships. Yesterday, the body announced that Richard Thompson will be its chief information officer. He’s no newcomer: the former Digital Data Exchange (DDEX) chair has been filling the CIO role on an interim basis since February this year.

“Richard’s impressive experience in building the technology behind Kobalt, as well as his past role as chair of DDEX and his participation in the international music metadata standards group for nearly a decade, make him the ideal person to drive the development of the MLC’s platform,” said board chair Alisa Coleman.

The MLC has also announced two new technology partners, who’ll be helping it to build its public database of musical works, as well as distributing mechanical royalties. ConsenSys and Harry Fox Agency (HFA) won out after a pitching process involving more than a dozen companies. The choice of HFA may spark some debates within the industry though: musician and creator-rights campaigner David Lowery has already questioned the decision, on account of HFA’s past role handling songwriter/publisher licensing for Spotify, before the streaming service was sued by songwriters including Lowery. “They created the problem that led to the creation of the Music Licensing Collective. Now they are rewarded with the contract to run the matching of musical works and paying artists?” he wrote on the Trichordist blog.

Stuart Dredge

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