Mechanical Licensing Collective Announces Board and Committee Appointments

The Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), today unveiled broad endorsements for their industry-consensus Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) submission to the U.S. Copyright Office (USCO). The submission, which will be filed by March 21, creates the collective required by the Music Modernization Act (MMA) to license and administer mechanical rights.

MLC Board and Committee appointments were also announced, including:

MLC BOARD:
Songwriters:
Kara DioGuardi – York, ME
Oak Felder – Los Angeles, CA
Kevin Kadish – Brentwood, TN
Tim Nichols – Nashville, TN

Music Publishers:
Jeff Brabec, BMG
Peter Brodsky, Sony/ATV
Bob Bruderman, Kobalt
Tim Cohan, peermusic
Alisa Coleman, ABKCO
Scott Cutler, Pulse Music Group
Paul Kahn, Warner Chappell Music
David Kokakis, Universal Music Publishing
Mike Molinar, Big Machine Music
Evelyn Paglinawan, Concord Music

UNCLAIMED FUNDS COMMITTEE:
Songwriters:
Michael Busbee – Altadena, CA
Kay Hanley – Toluca Lake, CA
David Lowery – Athens, GA
Dan Navarro – Los Angeles, CA
Tom Shapiro – Franklin, TN

Music Publishers:
Phil Ciadella, Atlas Music Publishing
Patrick Curley; Third Side Music
Michael Eames, PEN Music Group
Frank Liwall, The Royalty Network, Inc.
Kathryn Ostien, The Richmond Organization (TRO)

DISPUTE RESOLUTION COMMITTEE:
Songwriters:
Aimèe Allen – New York, NY
Odie Blackmon – Nashville, TN
Gary Burr – Nashville, TN
David Hodges – Nashville, TN
Jennifer Schott – Nashville, TN

Music Publishers:
Alison Koerper, Disney Music
Ed Leonard, Daywind
Sean McGraw, Downtown
Debbie Rose, Shapiro Bernstein and Jason Rys, Wixen Music

OPERATIONS ADVISORY COMMITTEE (Digital companies will also name representatives to this committee):
Joe Conyers III, Songtrust
Scott Farrant, Kobalt
Rell LaFargue, Reservoir Media Management
Michael Lau, Round Hill Music
Rell LaFargue, Resevoir Media Management

The Board and Committee seats were designated by the MMA, and the selections were chosen by two advisory groups. The songwriter advisory panel included: Steve Bogard (NSAI), Dallas Davidson (BMI), Chris DeStefano (NSAI), Bob DiPiero (BMI), Dan Foliart (ASCAP), Adam Gorgoni (SONA), Michelle Lewis (SONA), Paul Williams (ASCAP), Lynn Gillespie Chater (SGA). The publisher advisory group included: Kenny MacPherson (Big Deal), Teri Nelson Carpenter (Reel Muzik Werks), Caroline Bienstock (Bienstock Empire, Inc.), Julie Lipsius (Lipservices), John Ozier (ole), Matt Pincus.

“The Music Licensing Collective (MLC) will be constructed in a way historically beneficial to American songwriters – from the way unclaimed funds are required by law to be distributed based on a songwriter’s activity, to the MLC being funded by streaming services, therefore paying songwriters 100 cents on the dollar on digital mechanical royalties,” noted NSAI President, Steve Bogard. “The writers and composers chosen for the board and MLC committees represent the absolute best in our profession and the endorsements we’ve already received speak volumes about the confidence the American music industry has in the MLC.”

“Our Mechanical Licensing Collective submission provides a comprehensive roadmap to the Copyright Office to establish the first collective of its kind,” added NMPA President and CEO David Israelite. “The MLC will give songwriters the money they deserve and the transparency they’ve lacked for decades. The board and committee members are the best in the business and the vast endorsements come from the many coalition members who were instrumental in the passage of the MMA. We look forward to continuing in the USCO’s designation process and the day we can finally say songwriters have the representation they’ve earned.”

“Recording Academy members played a critical role in advocating for the Music Modernization Act, so it’s fitting that so many Academy songwriter members are involved in this submission,” said Daryl Friedman, Chief Industry, Government and Member Relations Officer for the Recording Academy. “We look forward to working with the Copyright Office and stakeholders in the coming months to ensure the creation of an efficient MLC that pays every songwriter the income they’ve earned.”

“The AIMP is a strong proponent of the MLC as the best option to ensure that the independent music publishers have clear representation in the development and the ongoing operations of the future collective,” said Teri Nelson Carpenter, National Chair of the AIMP. “We are extremely gratified that the publisher members of three committees – Operations, Disputes, and Unclaimed Royalties – consist entirely of independent music publishers. As the largest membership organization of independent music publishers in the U.S., we urge the Copyright Office to recognize our previous and ongoing support when it selects the entity that will handle such a critical function of our industry.”

The Music Modernization Act (MMA) requires that the MLC is “endorsed by, and enjoys substantial support from, musical work copyright owners that together represent the greatest percentage of the licensor market.” A majority of musical works owners in the U.S. have voiced support for the MLC submission, and joining them are performance rights organizations, record labels and many other organizations including the boards of the NSAI and SONA, which include:

NSAI: Steve Bogard (President), Rhett Akins, Tony Arata, Jim Beavers, Roger Brown, Jeff Cohen, Corey Crowder, Chris DeStefano, Beckie Foster, Nicolle Galyon, Ben Glover, Connie Harrington, Byron Hill, Brett James, Lee Miller, Tim Nichols, Gary Nicholson, Josh Osborne, Rivers Rutherford, Liz Rose, Jenn Schott, Anthony Smith, Caitlyn Smith, Bobby Tomberlin, Troy Verges, Danny Wells and Jimmy Yeary.

SONA: Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley (Co Executive Directors), Adam Dorn, Michelle Featherstone, Adam Gorgoni, Jack Kugell, Pam Sheyne, Brendan Okrent and Shelly Peiken.

Other endorsements include:
“And the Writer Is” | A2iM | ABKCO | AIMP (NY, Nashville, LA) | Altadena/ busbee | Americana Music Association | APM Music | ASCAP | Atlas Music Publishing | believe | Bienstock Empire, Inc. | Big Deal Music | Big Machine Music | BMG |BMI | CMPA | Concord Music | Creative Future | Demi Music | Disney Music Publishing | Downtown Music Publishing | Fox Music | GMR |HoriPro Entertainment | Kobalt Music | Leeds Music | Lipservices Music | Major Bob Music | MPA |MPL | NARAS| NMPA | ole | peermusic | PEN Music Group | PMA | Pulse Music Group | Reach Music Publishing | Reel Muzik Werks | Reservoir | RIAA |Ross Golan | Round Hill Music | Sea Gayle Music | SESAC |Shapiro Bernstein & Co.| Sony Music | Sony/ATV, EMI | SoundExchange |Spirit Music Group | Ten Music Group | The Administration MP, Inc. | The Copyright Alliance | The Gospel Music Association | The Royalty Network | Third Side Music | TRO Essex Music Group | TuneCore |UMPG | Universal Music Group | Warner Music Group | Warner/Chappell | Wixen Music Publishing | Wonderlous Music | Wrensong

A website has also been launched for all of the songwriters and artists who support the MLC to sign an official petition: SupporttheMLC.com and a site for music publishers to add their endorsements: songconnect.org.

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Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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