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Mechanical rights organizations

2 min read

What are MROs?

MROs represent songwriters and music publishers and collect mechanical rights royalties on their behalf.

What is a Mechanical Rights Organization (MRO)?

MROs collect and pay for to and when their are copied or reproduced in a digital or physical format. This includes digital downloads, streams, CDs, and vinyl records.

See our topic on Music Creators’ Rights to learn more about mechanical rights.

Visit our page on Collective Management Organizations to learn more about different types of CMOs.

What do MROs do?

MROs perform many different functions, including:

  • the use of musical works, particularly the mechanical right

  • Collecting royalties and from businesses and organizations that distribute or reproduce musical works

  • Distributing royalties to songwriters and music publishers

How do MROs work?

MROs work by licensing the or of musical works to businesses and organizations. The license fee is based on the type of musical work being reproduced or distributed, the number of copies or streams, and how long the license is valid.

MROs then distribute the royalties to the songwriters and music publishers who have the rights in a musical work. The royalty earned is usually based on the number of copies or streams.

Why are MROs important?

MROs are important because they help sound recordings get made and distributed and make sure that songwriters and music publishers are paid for the use of their musical works. Keeping track of this would be near-impossible for songwriters and publishers, so MROs play a vital role in the music ecosystem.

Most MROs are members of BIEM, an organization closely related to CISAC, or can be found through the local .

These organizations work in different countries and regions, so if a creator is looking to join an MRO, it's important to find one that's right for you.


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Illustration credit: Jacob Vidkjær, Playminds