U.S. Copyright Office Names Digital Licensing Coordinator

United States Capitol building
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United States Capitol building in Washington, DC. 

At the same time that the Copyright Office designated the group led by the National Music Publishers Association to build and operate the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), it also named the group consisting of Spotify, Amazon, Google, Apple and Pandora to the role of Digital Licensing Coordinator, which also was created by the Music Modernization Act (MMA).   

The Copyright Office noted that this group was the only submission it received, but nevertheless said that they had met the requirements as set forth in the MMA to receive the designation. According to a document available on the Copyright Office website, detailing the reasons behind its designation of the MLS and the DLC, "The Register has concluded that DLCI meets each of the statutory criteria required of the digital licensee coordinator, and that each of its individual board members are well-qualified to perform the statutory functions. Accordingly, the Register designates DLCI and its members, with the Librarian’s approval."   

The Digital Licensing Coordinator is intended to protect digital music services' interest in the running of the MLC; it is also expected to assist the MLC in fulfilling its mandate of matching composition to recorded masters and making sure the correct rights owners receive payment.     

That document noted that the DLCI’s board is composed of the following initial members: Nick Williamson (Apple, Inc.), Lisa Selden (Spotify), Sarah Rosenbaum (Google), James Duffett-Smith (Amazon Music), and Cynthia Greer (Sirius XM Radio Inc., the parent of Pandora Media, LLC); with Duffett-Smith serving as chair, Rosenbaum as Treasurerand Lisa Selden as secretary. It further states they anticipating hiring an executive director; and anticipates naming a non-director, officer, or employee to serve as a non-voting member of the board, which potentially may be DiMA’s CEO, who is currently Garrett Levin.

"DiMA welcomes the designation of DLC Inc. as the digital licensee coordinator (DLC) under the MMA,” Levin said in a statement. “The DLC will play a critical role in ensuring the operational success of the mechanical licensing system, including educating licensees and new digital services about the MLC, helping establish the MLC’s reasonable costs and ensuring prompt payment of that budget by licensees."