U.S. Copyright Office Issues Interpretive Rule Regarding Fees for Late Royalty Payments Under the Music Modernization Act’s Blanket Mechanical License

Issue No. 1019 - September 5, 2023

The Copyright Office has issued an interpretive rule regarding the Music Modernization Act’s due date for royalty payments as it relates to late fees under the blanket statutory mechanical license. In February 2023, following requests from interested parties, the Office published a notification of inquiry soliciting public comments regarding when royalty payments should be considered late, thus triggering late fees assessments. Interested parties were in disagreement about whether the Office’s regulations governing the reporting by digital music providers under the Music Modernization Act’s blanket license affected the Act’s due date provisions.

Having carefully considered the statutory text, legislative history, and public comments, the Office concludes that the statute’s due date provisions are unambiguous. The Office is not issuing regulations on this topic and is terminating its related notification of inquiry.

More information can be found here.