The Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) established after the passage of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) is going through its first audit.
The Music Modernization Act modified the obligatory mechanical license for reproducing and distributing songs from a song-by-song licensing system to a blanket licensing regime, administered by the MLC. Digital music suppliers (DMPs) can acquire the brand new blanket mechanical license to make digital songs obtainable within the type of streaming, downloads, or interactive streaming.
A part of the MMA laws supplies audit rights, such because the MLC’s skill to audit DMPs to confirm the accuracy of royalty funds. Musical work copyright house owners may choose to audit the MLC to confirm accuracy of royalty funds, which is precisely what Bridgeport Music has initiated.
On November 9, 2023 the Federal Register workplace acquired the right discover of intent to conduct an audit of the MLC from Bridgeport Music. The interval in query begins January 1, 2021 via December 31, 2023—that means Bridgeport needs to audit the final two years of royalty administration underneath the MLC.
Bridgeport is a notoriously litigious rightsholder, even being fined in 2008 over allegations that the rap tune “99 Issues” illegally sampled the Bridgeport-owned tune “Get Off Your Ass and Jam,” carried out by George Clinton and the Funkadelics.
“Given the litigation historical past of Bridgeport on this and companion instances, it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court docket to award charges and prices towards the corporate within the hopes of motivating it to litigate in a extra accountable, lifelike method, and to discourage it from persevering with to have interaction in questionable litigation ways,” Choose McKeague wrote on the time of that judgement.
Bridgeport went after UMG Recordings in 2009 for Public Announcement’s “D.O.G. In Me” and its phrase “Bow wow wow, yippie yo, yippie yea.” A jury discovered that the defendants at willfully infringed on Bridgeport’s rights and awarded statutory damages of $88,980 in that case, with the ruling upheld in November 2009 in a Court docket of Appeals. Might Bridgeport be squaring up to make use of the MLC audit as ammo in future litigation?