Royalties for Nigerian Artists under the US Music Modernization Act

The US Mechanical License Commission (MLC) has clarified that Nigerian artists are entitled to royalties for their music, which is streamed through music streaming and download platforms in the US.

This information follows the recent developments in copyright law in the US collectively aimed at modernising copyright practices in the US and protecting the best interest of artists whose music is played in the US.

The US had in 2018 enacted the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (Music Modernization Act) meant to reflect modern consumer preferences and technological developments in the music marketplace. The Act, amongst other things, recognised the prevalent use of music streaming and download platforms for the consumption of music and provided for setting up a first-of-its-kind Mechanical License Collective (MLC) for collecting and managing streaming royalties for music and musical recordings.

Under the Act, the MLC is to issue a blanket digital mechanical license to streaming platforms in the US, and such a license would cover all artists in the MLC’s database. The license would empower streaming platforms to carry out activities related to making permanent downloads, limited downloads, and interactive streams of musical works covered under the license. The MLC is to collect royalties for the music covered under the license, which would be remitted to artists covered by the license depending on their percentage streams.

Read more