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CEO DATELINE – Music industry associations propose licensing organization

Feb. 5, 2019
By Walt Williams

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Three associations representing music publishers and songwriters have proposed a new organization to handle digital licensing for streaming music, the Nashville Tennessean reported Monday.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is the result of legislation passed by Congress last year that modernized copyright protections for music in the internet era. One provision in the new law requires the creation of a new body to administer licenses granting permission for streaming music providers to play copyrighted songs.

The National Music Publishers’ Association, Nashville Songwriters Association International and Songwriters of North America submitted the proposal to U.S. Copyright Office for approval. Streaming music providers would pay the cost of running the proposed nonprofit but music publishers and songwriters would serve on boards overseeing the organization.

“Our Mechanical Licensing Collective submission provides a comprehensive roadmap to the Copyright Office to establish the first collective of its kind,” NMPA CEO David Israelite said in a statement. “The MLC will give songwriters the money they deserve and the transparency they’ve lacked for decades.”

The associations have created a website,, with further information about the collective.