The US Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is up and running with the blanket mechanical licence that was created by 2018’s Music Modernization Act.

The aim of the new licence remains to address some of the longstanding problems around how streaming services license songs (as in compositions) – or even how they find out who wrote those songs and/or owns their whole or partial copyrights.

From the start of this year, streaming services using the new blanket licence will be sending monthly usage reports and mechanical royalty payments to the MLC, which expects to start paying publishers and independent songwriters from April.

The MLC says that more than 50 digital services are expected to be eligible for the new blanket licence. Its operations will be watched closely, including by critics like The Trichordist who are keen to see how the MLC fairly distributes ‘black box’ royalties (those for compositions that haven’t been matched with recordings) that were recently quantified by the DSPs as “several hundred million dollars”.

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Stuart Dredge

Music Ally's Head of Insight

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