Webinar for Hawai‘i songwriters Thursday

HONOLULU — Noteworthy changes to the way songwriters are paid digital royalties are effective this month as the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism’s Creative Industries Division and The Mechanical Licensing Collective partner to host a free webinar for Hawai‘i’s music community to share information regarding receiving the revenue streams they are owed.

All self-administered songwriters, composers and lyricists are particularly encouraged to learn about “The Future of Digital Audio Mechanical Royalties from Digital Service Providers in the United States” and the game-changing efforts of The MLC on Thursday, Jan. 28 at 11 a.m.

Registration is now open to the public at themlc.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_2xMeYKcWS6G2e2-drZb_Xg.

“This important national initiative, which aligns with the 2018 Music Modernization Act, will provide a more-substantial framework by which these artists can be compensated for any licensing of their works that are streamed, downloaded or placed in all forms of media,” said Mike McCartney, DEBET director.

The Mechanical Licensing Collective is a nonprofit organization designated by the U.S. Copyright Office. Following the Music Modernization Act of 2018, The MLC is responsible for administering the blanket mechanical licenses for streaming and download services effective Jan. 1, 2021 — and for collecting the royalties due under those licenses to pay songwriters, composers, lyricists and music publishers in a more-efficient manner.

Georja Skinner, chief officer of DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division and founder of its Creative Lab Hawai‘i program, added that “Many self-administered artists in Hawai‘i, especially independent songwriters, have opportunities available through recent legislation and The MLC to ensure they are getting the digital audio mechanical royalties they are entitled to be compensated for their music, be able to access unclaimed royalties and maintain control of their musical works in the digital age.”

Self-administered artists, who have retained the right to register their own musical works and collect their own mechanical royalties directly or through a representative/agent (instead of a music publisher or administrator), must register for their free membership directly with The MLC to benefit from this new system at portal.themlc.com/login

The webinar will outline how local, self-administered songwriters can join The MLC free of charge and submit their musical-works data to The MLC portal to be eligible for the first distribution of royalty payments next spring.

Attendees will also get an understanding of how The MLC can further identify unclaimed songwriter and publisher royalties, and the benefits of its publicly-accessible, musical-works database.

All music publishers, administrators, self-administered songwriters, composers and lyricists will need to become members of The MLC to access their data via The MLC portal and receive payments.

Artists who have assigned their rights to register and collect their mechanical royalties will not need to become members of The MLC. Their publishers or administrators will handle registration and collection. Songwriters or composers should check to ensure that all their works are properly registered with The MLC.

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