Copyright Act

Music- Understanding the Compulsory Mechanical License

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.