Songwriters, artists: sign petition to support MLC to control licensing of your copyrights. Take action now!

Several entities are expected to bid for the opportunity to operate this program. The U.S. Copyright Office will choose who runs the MLC this Summer. Only one has been created by and with the involvement of NSAI, SONA and NMPA.This is the one that will be operated BY songwriters and music publishers FOR songwriters and music publishers. To ensure their successful bid, they need your signature on the petition at   The MLC will be a great new tool for American songwriters and will begin licensing your mechanical streaming royalties for FREE!

See below for the full press release, with my notes added. And remember to sign the petition!

Nashville, TN (February 4, 2019) – The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), National Music Publishers' Association (NMPA), today unveiled broad endorsements for their industry-consensus Music Licensing Collective (MLC) submission to the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO).

The submission, which will be filed by March 21st, creates the collective required by the Music Modernization Act (MMA) to license and administer mechanical rights. Additionally, the groups announced the MLC Board and Committee appointments and launched a website for all of the songwriters and artists who support the MLC to sign an official and a site for music publishers to add their endorsements:

Increased royalty payments from streaming services

Personal note:  The Music Licensing Collective (MLC) needs your support to ensure its success on your behalf. It will create and maintain a thorough database of music composition copyrights (and the copyrights' owners), collect mechanical royalties from digital music streaming services, and transmit those royalties to copyright holders based on the ownership claims set forth in the database.

Streaming services will pay mechanical royalties to the MLC based on the number of streams each song has racked up. This a major benefit for both artist and songwriters. The MLC will also set up a blanket mechanical license for streaming of music compositions, replacing the unwieldy Notice of Intention (NOI) that is currently filed when a streaming service cannot track down a copyright owner. This will result in significantly higher royalty payments for copyright holders in the MLC's master database.*

Note that the MLC does NOT replace or compete with your membership of a Performing Rights Organization, ASCAP, BMI or SESAC. You will continue to receive royalties from your P.R.O. as you do currently

All you have to do is join

"The U.S. Copyright Office will choose who runs the MLC this Summer.The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), Songwriters of North America (SONA) and the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA) helped passed the MUSIC MODERNIZATION ACT, working on the legislation for years.We are asking for your support for the MLC being created by us. We KNOW we can do the best job when it comes to licensing your songs and protecting your royalties because we've been doing it for decades." – quote from the MLC website.

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) requires that the MLC is "endorsed by, and enjoys substantial support from, musical work copyright owners that together represent the greatest percentage of the licensor market."

Supported by 'overwhelming majority' of copyright holders

Today, the overwhelming majority of musical works owners in the U.S. have voiced support for the MLC submission, and joining them are performance rights organizations, record labels and many other organizations including the boards of the NSAI and SONA:

NSAI: Steve Bogard (President), Rhett Akins, Tony Arata, Jim Beavers, Roger Brown, Jeff Cohen, Corey Crowder, Chris DeStefano, Beckie Foster, Nicolle Galyon, Ben Glover, Connie Harrington, Byron Hill, Brett James, Lee Miller, Tim Nichols, Gary Nicholson, Josh Osborne, Rivers Rutherford, Liz Rose, Jenn Schott, Anthony Smith, Caitlyn Smith, Bobby Tomberlin, Troy Verges, Danny Wells and Jimmy Yeary.

SONA: Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley (Co Executive Directors), Adam Dorn, Michelle Featherstone, Adam Gorgoni, Jack Kugell, Pam Sheyne, Brendan Okrent and Shelly Peiken.

Other endorsements include: NMPA, NSAI, SONA plus:

"And the Writer Is" | A2iM | ABKCO | AIMP (NY, Nashville, LA) | Altadena/ busbee | Americana Music Association | APM Music | ASCAP | Atlas Music Publishing | believe | Bienstock Empire, Inc. | Big Deal Music | Big Machine Music | BMG |BMI | CMPA | Concord Music | Creative Future | Demi Music | Disney Music Publishing | Downtown Music Publishing | Fox Music | GMR |HoriPro Entertainment | Kobalt Music | Leeds Music | Lipservices Music | Major Bob Music | MPA |MPL | NARAS | ole | peermusic | PEN Music Group | PMA | Pulse Music Group | Reach Music Publishing | Reel Muzik Werks | Reservoir | RIAA |Ross Golan | Round Hill Music | Sea Gayle Music | SESAC |Shapiro Bernstein & Co.| Sony Music | Sony/ATV, EMI | SoundExchange |Spirit Music Group | Ten Music Group | The Administration MP, Inc. | The Copyright Alliance | The Gospel Music Association | The Royalty Network | Third Side Music | TRO Essex Music Group | TuneCore |UMPG | Universal Music Group | Warner Music Group | Warner/Chappell | Wixen Music Publishing | Wonderlous Music | Wrensong

MLC Board and Committees

The MLC Board and Committee appointments are:

MLC BOARD: Songwriters include Kara DioGuardi – York, ME; Oak Felder – Los Angeles, CA; Kevin Kadish – Brentwood, TN; and Tim Nichols – Nashville, TN. Music Publishers include Jeff Brabec, BMG; Peter Brodsky, Sony/ATV; Bob Bruderman, Kobalt; Tim Cohan, peermusic; Alisa Coleman, ABKCO; Scott Cutler, Pulse Music Group; Paul Kahn, Warner Chappell Music; David Kokakis, Universal Music Publishing; Mike Molinar, Big Machine Music; Evelyn Paglinawan, Concord Music; and Rell LaFargue, Resevoir Media Management.

UNCLAIMED FUNDS COMMITTEE: Songwriters include Michael Busbee – Altadena, CA; Kay Hanley – Toluca Lake, CA; David Lowery – Athens, GA; Dan Navarro – Los Angeles, CA and Tom Shapiro – Franklin, TN. Music Publishers include Phil Ciadella, Atlas Music Publishing; Patrick Curley; Third Side Music; Michael Eames, PEN Music Group; Frank Liwall, The Royalty Network, Inc.; and Kathryn Ostien, The Richmond Organization (TRO).

DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMITTEE: Songwriters include Aimèe Allen – New York, NY; Odie Blackmon – Nashville, TN; Gary Burr – Nashville, TN; David Hodges – Nashville, TN and Jennifer Schott – Nashville, TN. Music Publishers include Alison Koerper, Disney Music; Ed Leonard, Daywind; Sean McGraw, Downtown, Debbie Rose, Shapiro Bernstein and Jason Rys, Wixen Music.

OPERATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE: Joe Conyers III, Songtrust; Scott Farrant, Kobalt; Rell LaFargue, Reservoir Media Management; and Michael Lau, Round Hill Music.

Digital companies will also name representatives to this committee.

The Board and Committee seats were designated by the MMA, and the selections were chosen by two advisory groups.

The songwriter advisory panel included: Steve Bogard (NSAI), Dallas Davidson (BMI), Chris DeStefano (NSAI), Bob DiPiero (BMI), Dan Foliart (ASCAP), Adam Gorgoni (SONA), Michelle Lewis (SONA), Paul Williams (ASCAP), Lynn Gillespie Chater (SGA)

The publisher advisory group included: Kenny MacPherson (Big Deal), Teri Nelson Carpenter (Reel Muzik Werks), Caroline Bienstock (Bienstock Empire, Inc.), Julie Lipsius (Lipservices), John Ozier (ole), Matt Pincus

NSAI President Steve Bogard:

"The Music Licensing Collective (MLC) will be constructed in a way historically beneficial to American songwriters – from the way unclaimed funds are required by law to be distributed based on a songwriter's activity, to the MLC being funded by streaming services, therefore paying songwriters 100 cents on the dollar on digital mechanical royalties.The writers and composers chosen for the board and MLC committees represent the absolute best in our profession and the endorsements we've already received speak volumes about the confidence the American music industry has in the MLC."

NSAI and SONA: "Songwriters can go to to offer their endorsement of the entity that will oversee licensing of digital mechanical rights for American songwriters. We've worked for decades for the benefits the MLC will bring songwriters/composers, including licensing their digital mechanical royalties at no cost since the streaming music companies have agreed to fund the collective. NSAI, SONA and NMPA worked on the Music Modernization Act for years, guided its adoption and believe we are the best group in terms of expertise and experience to undertake the challenge of building a new mechanical licensing entity. The music industry and American songwriters assisted us in ensuring passage of the MMA and we are confident they will agree that the Music Licensing Collective, created by our organizations and NMPA, should be the agency controlling licensing of their copyrights."

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite: 

"Our Mechanical Licensing Collective submission provides a comprehensive roadmap to the Copyright Office to establish the first collective of its kind. The MLC will give songwriters the money they deserve and the transparency they've lacked for decades. The board and committee members are the best in the business and the vast endorsements come from the many coalition members who were instrumental in the passage of the MMA. We look forward to continuing in the USCO's designation process and the day we can finally say songwriters have the representation they've earned."

*It is important to note that the MLC concerns only music composition "mechanical royalties".It will not collect royalties related to sound recordings, a separate copyright which is negotiated privately between record labels and streaming services. Additionally, it does not collect royalties for the public performance of music compositions; those royalties will still be collected by performance rights organizations such as ASCAP and BMI. (this paragraph is an excerpt from an article by John Miranda, Trademark Examining Attorney with the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office. Read the full article here.

Preshias Harrisis a music journalist and music career development consultant with the emphasis on new and aspiring artists and songwriters. Her book, 'The College of Songology 101: The Singer/Songwriter's Need to Know Reference Handbook' is available at  Follow her blog at