The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) is now part of CDB Boost! The MLC is a great model for how the royalty-collection industry of the future needs to work, based on transparency, fairness, and respect, which is why we’re happy to include them in our premium tier: CDB Boost. They believe your music matters, your rights are YOURS, and you deserve to be paid when your songs are played!
- What is the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)?
- Should I sign up with the MLC?
- When will I start seeing payments from the MLC?
- Does the MLC take a cut of my royalties?
- Does the MLC take the place of using CD Baby PRO publishing? No.
What is the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC)?
In short, the MLC is a new collection society that collects streaming mechanical royalties in the United States.
The long version:
The MLC is a Mechanical Rights Organization (MRO) based in the United States and designated by the U.S. Copyright Office to issue and administer the digital audio mechanical blanket license in accordance with the Music Modernization Act to Digital Service Providers (DSPs) in the United States.
Among other duties, the MLC is empowered to provide blanket licenses for streaming services. It provides a baseline structure to ensure that mechanical royalties are actually collected and distributed to rights holders. The MLC is responsible for matching those royalties to copyright holders (songwriters and publishers) and paying them out.
The MLC has also established a publicly accessible database containing information relating to music works and their owners. You can access that database and search for your works here.
⚠️ If you need to make updates to your MLC registration that was made via CDB Boost, unfortunately, you will need to cancel the release and resubmit with a new submission purchase.
Note: the MLC is responsible for the collection of mechanical royalties only. There is no overlap in between the MLC and the collection of performance royalties through Performing Rights Organizations (P.R.O.s).
Should I sign up with the MLC?
If you are signing up a new CD Baby release, or have previously distributed music through CD Baby at the Standard level, you will want to opt-in to CDB Boost to take advantage of this service. By opting into The MLC through Boost, we'll be able to collect mechanical royalties from The MLC on your behalf.
Legacy Pro Publishing Releases
If you’ve signed up for CD Baby Pro Publishing in the past, we will register those works with the MLC and collect mechanical royalties from streaming through the MLC on your behalf through our legacy Pro Publishing service, and there is no need to add the MLC through CDB Boost.
If you or another administrator, like Songtrust, have already registered your works and songwriters to collect from the MLC, you should not opt those works into the MLC through CDB Boost.
What if I have some songs already registered at the MLC, but not others?
If you are releasing an album that contains some songs that you've already registered at the MLC, you will have the option during the Boost sign-up process to select which songs we should register and collect royalties for, and which we should not.
The songs that you have already registered with the MLC should not be opted into Boost - you will want to select only the songs on your album that are not yet being collected for.
If you release a single that you have already registered at the MLC, you should not opt into the MLC part of CDB Boost for that single.
When will I start seeing payments from the MLC?
Royalties collected by The MLC within any given quarter are paid out two quarters after they are collected. This means that royalties collected in Q1 of a given year (January, February, March) will appear in your CD Baby Sales & Accounting in Q3 of that year, and so on for each quarter.
The MLC has also been tasked with collecting and paying out historical and unmatched royalties to rights holders. The Music Modernization Act (MMA) requires the MLC to hold these royalties and attempt to match as much of it as possible for a minimum of 3 years.
If you have a legacy CD Baby Pro Publishing release, these royalties are received on the same payment timeline and are already included in your Pro Publishing royalty reports.
Does the MLC take a cut of my royalties?
No, the MLC does not take any cut from the royalties they collect. The MLC is funded by the Digital Service Providers they service, and they remit 100% of the royalties they collect to copyright owners.