The Mechanical Licensing Collective Releases Updated Educator Toolkit

The Mechanical Licensing Collective (The MLC) has released the second version of its Educator Toolkit, a free resource designed to help college educators teach their students – particularly those studying music and music business – about the landscape of digital audio mechanical rights in the U.S. and The MLC’s role in it following passage of the Music Modernization Act of 2018. 

Created by Serona Elton, The MLC’s Head of Educational Partnerships and a long-time university professor, the Toolkit provides instructors with a range of materials they can seamlessly incorporate into their existing syllabi or employ in the creation of new course modules. The original version – released in November 2020 – was requested for use by more than 110 educators from 80 different academic institutions across the country, some of whom participated in a survey from The MLC soliciting their feedback on the Toolkit. 

“As an educator myself, I understand the importance of having up-to-date teaching materials, particularly with a subject matter that is as inherently complex and rapidly evolving as mechanical licensing,” noted Elton. “The updates we’ve made to the Toolkit – based in part on feedback we received from the educators who are already using it – reflect The MLC’s commitment to continuing to provide instructors with the comprehensive and current resources they need to navigate this complex subject matter and best prepare tomorrow’s music industry professionals.”

Like the original version, this new version of the Toolkit contains an easy-to-understand introductory video, a white-label customizable PowerPoint presentation, suggested classroom activities and exam questions and a list of informational videos and articles on copyright law and the history of mechanical licensing that educators can reference. In addition, the updated version contains several new enhancements, including:

•    Activities that provide students with hands-on practice using The MLC’s Public Search feature  and other assets on The MLC’s website;
•    Revamped video content that incorporates answers to the common questions pertaining to mechanical licensing that have arisen during The MLC’s “Q&A” webinars over the past several months; and
•    A section of “learning outcomes” that are tied directly to the Toolkit’s video and presentation materials.

“The MLC’s Educator Toolkit provides an excellent starting point for teaching about the new world of music licensing brought about by the enactment of the Music Modernization Act and creation of The MLC, and its accessible learning exercises help make sense of those new developments in a straightforward way,” said Sean M. O’Connor of George Mason University’s Antonin Scalia Law School. “I was able to easily customize and augment the Toolkit, which saved me time, and the results were appreciated by a class of law students with music backgrounds.”

The Educator Toolkit reflects The MLC's commitment to fulfilling a broader mandate to educate rightsholders about changes that came about with the passage of the Music Modernization Act and The MLC's role in those changes. Through this resource, The MLC will be able to continue building connections with future music business professionals and aspiring songwriters at the outset of their respective careers.

Academic instructors and educational institutions can request access to The MLC’s Educator Toolkit here.

Members of the media can download graphics from The MLC’s Educator Toolkit on Dropbox.