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Music Licensing Catches Up with Streaming Services

Songwriters now can receive their royalties more reliably than in the past when their songs are streamed through various online services. The enactment of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) on October 11, 2018, creates the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), which will be the first dedicated licensing body from which streaming services can license songwriters’ musical compositions.  Typically, streaming services negotiate directly with record labels, which usually do not represent songwriters, and are only able to grant rights to songs in their portfolios. As a result, many songwriters are not paid royalties for their compositions, and parties requesting rights must contact multiple rights organizations. A goal of the MMA is to streamline the flow of royalties to songwriters.