A mechanical licence is the agreement by which permission to reproduce a musical work on a sound carrier is granted by the copyright owner or its representative. “Mechanical” refers to the reproduction of copyrighted music in a “contrivance” for the “mechanical reproduction of music.” If this makes you think of music boxes, it’s because it is, admittedly, somewhat outmoded language. Nevertheless, “mechanical licence” is the customary industry term for such permission.
CMRRA issues mechanical licences for physical products through two basic plans: Pay-As-You-Press/Import, or pursuant to the terms of CMRRA’s standard Mechanical Licensing Agreement (MLA). CMRRA also issues mechanical licences for songs reproduced digitally (such as downloads and streams) with different rates depending on the type of reproduction. For more information, please visit CMRRA’s Tariffs page or see our Online Music Services Tariff Rates chart, or consult our Online Licensing FAQ for more answers.