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The Copyright Designs & Patents Act, 1988 gives a copyright owner a ‘mechanical right’ to copy the work and the to issue copies of the work in public. Every time a work is copied, or a copy is issued to the public, royalties are generated from its licensing.
The Mechanical Copyright Licences Company Ltd (MECOLICO) was established in 1910 in anticipation of the Copyright Act 1911. Its purpose was to collect and distribute mechanical royalties due from the new gramophone companies. Shortly afterwards the Copyright Protection Society Ltd was founded and, in 1924, a merger of the two bodies resulted in the Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society Limited (MCPS). MCPS has been wholly owned by the Music Publishers' Association (MPA) since 1976.
The Mechanical-Copyright Protection Society (MCPS), established in 1924, is a non-profit organisation which currently represents several composers, songwriters and music publishers. MCPS is known as a collecting society because its main role is collecting money from music users in the UK who record music into TV and radio programmes, websites, feature films, CDs, records, and so on. MCPS collects royalties by issuing licences to music users in respect of the mechanical copyright in musical works. It acts on behalf of its members by negotiating agreements with those who wish to record and distribute product containing copyright musical works and collecting licence fees for this use. The money is subsequently distributed to its members as mechanical royalties.
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