Music copyright is a dense and often misunderstood area of law. So what exactly is the Compulsory Mechanical License? Under the Copyright Act singers and entertainers are allowed to make a copy or a recording of their favorite song without obtaining approval from the copyright owner under certain circumstances. For instance, once a publisher releases a song, for example, anyone can make a recording of that song as long as they pays the royalty rates set by law under the Copyright Act. Notably, this does not apply to “first use” of the song.