Since there was no advance commitment or agreement on the budget for the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) under Title I of the Music Modernization Act, it appears that the clock is ticking on an agreement before the parties have to go before the Copyright Royalty Judges to be told what the budget (or the “assessment”) is to be. The Copyright Royalty Board has beat the July 8 deadline for noticing the proceeding and has posted the notice and the rules for the hearing.
The “Notice announcing commencement of Initial Administrative Assessment proceeding and requesting Petitions to Participate” can be found here:
The regulations require the participation of the MLC and the Digital Licensee Coordinator (DLC) in the proceeding and permit the participation of copyright owners, digital music providers, and significant nonblanket licensees. 37 CFR 355.2(c)–(d).
The Judges hereby announce commencement of the proceeding, direct the MLC and the DLC to file Petitions to Participate, and request Petitions to Participate from any other eligible participant with a significant interest in the determination of the Initial Administrative Assessment…
Any participant that is an individual may represent herself or himself. All other participants must be represented by counsel….
Petitions to Participate and the filing fee are due on or before July 23, 2019.
[T]he Judges believe that the views of other participants may be helpful, and perhaps essential, for the Judges to determine whether good cause exists to exercise their discretion to reject a settlement. The Judges, therefore, have modified [the regulations for the settlement negotiations and proceeding] to clarify that participants other than the MLC and DLC may participate in settlement negotiations and may comment on any resulting settlement.