Music Modernization Act (MMA) Rulemakings and Ex Parte Communications

Title I – Musical Works Modernization Act Related Rulemakings

Title Docket Number Topic Last action
Blanket License Implementation Regulations (Notification of Inquiry) 2019-5 General notification soliciting public comments on subjects relevant to promulgating implementation regulations for the MMA’s compulsory blanket licensing regime. These comments were used to initiate parallel rulemaking proceedings covering more specific topics. September 24, 2019 – Notification of Inquiry
Protection of Confidential Information by the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) and Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC) 2020-7 This rule defines “confidential information” and regulates disclosure and use of confidential information by the MLC and DLC, as well as their employees, agents, consultants, vendors, and independent contractors and members of their boards of directors and committees. It separately addresses the use and disclosure of sensitive financial or business information about the MLC’s and DLC’s internal operations (as opposed to confidential information about third parties). February 11, 2021 – Interim Rule
Transition Period Cumulative Reporting and Transfer of Royalties to the Mechanical Licensing Collective 2020-12 This rule addresses eligibility requirements for the optional statutory limitation on liability for unlicensed uses of musical works by digital music providers (DMPs) prior to the January 1, 2021, license availability date. In particular, it specifies the format and content of cumulative statements of accounts furnished by DMPs and includes provisions addressing the transfer of accrued royalties to the collective. January 11, 2021 – Final Rule
The Public Musical Works Database and Transparency of the Mechanical Licensing Collective 2020-8 This rule prescribes the categories of information to be included in the statutorily required public musical works database and rules related to the usability, interoperability, and usage restrictions of the database. The rule also requires the MLC to disclose certain categories of information in public reporting to ensure transparency of the collective itself. December 31, 2020 – Interim Rule
Notices of License, Notices of Nonblanket Activity, Data Collection and Delivery Efforts, and Reports of Usage and Payment 2020-5 This rule focuses primarily on DMP data and reporting obligations. It established regulations regarding (1) DMP data collection and delivery efforts; (2) notices of license submitted to the MLC by DMPs in connection with obtaining a blanket license; (3) reports of usage and related royalty payments submitted to the MLC by DMPs under the blanket license; (4) notices of nonblanket activity submitted to the MLC by significant nonblanket licensees (SNBLs); (5) reports of usage submitted to the MLC by SNBLs; and (6) musical work copyright owner data collection and delivery efforts. May 24, 2022 – Supplemental Interim Rule
March 5, 2021 – Supplemental Interim Rule
September 17, 2020 – Interim Rule
Reporting and Distribution of Royalties to Copyright Owners by the Mechanical Licensing Collective 2020-6 This rule addresses the information that the MLC is required to report in royalty statements to copyright owners, as well as the format and delivery of such statements and related distribution payments. September 17, 2020 – Interim Rule
Designation of Mechanical Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator 2018-11 This rule designated the entities currently serving as the MLC and DLC. Both entities are subject to a redesignation process in 2024. July 8, 2019 – Final Rule
Periodic Review of the Designations of the Mechanical Licensing Collective and Digital Licensee Coordinator 2024-1 First periodic review of the designations of the mechanical licensing collective and digital licensee coordinator. January 30, 2024 – Notification of Inquiry
Technical Amendments to Section 115 Compulsory License Regulations 2018-10 This rule amended the Office’s pre-MMA section 115 regulations to conform them to the MMA, including with respect to the operation of notices of intention (NOIs) and statements of account for non-blanket compulsory licensees. This proceeding did not involve regulatory updates in connection with the blanket license. March 22, 2019 – Final Rule
Termination Rights and the Music Modernization Act's Blanket License 2022-5 This proposed rule regards the applicability of the derivative works exception to termination rights under the Copyright Act to the new statutory mechanical blanket license established by the Music Modernization Act. This rule also proposes regulations addressing additional matters relevant to identifying the proper payee to whom the MLC must distribute royalties. These include the MLC’s administration of ownership transfers, requests to designate alternative royalty payees, and related disputes, as well as the distribution of matched historical royalties. September 26, 2023 – Supplemental Notice of Proposed Rulemaking
Fees for Late Royalty Payments under the Music Modernization Act 2023-2 This notification of inquiry solicited public comments regarding when fees for late royalty payments should be assessed in connection with reporting by digital music providers under the Music Modernization Act’s blanket license. The Copyright Office issued an interpretive rule concluding that the statute’s due date provisions are unambiguous with respect to when late fees are due under the blanket license and terminated the inquiry. September 5, 2023 – Interpretive Rule; Termination of Notification of Inquiry

Title II – Classics Protection and Access Act Related Rulemakings

Title Docket Number Topic Last action
Final Rule Regarding the Noncommercial Use Exception to Unauthorized Uses of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings 2018-8 This rule addresses the noncommercial use exception to unauthorized uses of U.S. sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972. The rule identifies the specific steps that a user should take to demonstrate she has made a good faith, reasonable search without finding commercial exploitation of the sound recording by or under the authority of the rights owner so as to be eligible for the safe harbor. It also details the filing requirements for a user to submit a notice of noncommercial use and for a rights owner to submit a notice opting out of (i.e., objecting to) a proposed noncommercial use. April 9, 2019 – Final Rule
Rules Regarding Schedules of Pre-1972 Sound Recordings and Notices of Contact Information by Transmitting Entities 2018-7 This rule identifies the requirements for rights owners to file schedules listing their sound recordings fixed before February 15, 1972, with the Copyright Office so as to become eligible for attorneys’ fees and damages in cases of unauthorized use. It also identifies the requirements for a transmitting entity that was publicly performing pre-1972 sound recordings as of the date of enactment of the MMA to file a notice of contact information before the April 10, 2019, statutory deadline. March 22, 2019 – Final Rule

Ex Parte Communications

Ex parte meetings are informal consultations between the Copyright Office and interested parties to discuss targeted issues related to the merits of a particular rulemaking. Parties are required to summarize the discussion at the meeting, including information on which individuals and parties attended the meeting. Various MMA rulemaking ex parte meeting summaries can be found here:

Unclaimed Royalties Study