HomeWinBuzzer NewsMicrosoft Groove is Blocking Original Music Distributors Lacking Mechanical Licenses

Microsoft Groove is Blocking Original Music Distributors Lacking Mechanical Licenses

In a rule that seems to have been in effect since the turn of the year, Microsoft Groove is blocking distributors from adding music without a mechanical license. Spotify and other streaming services have received fines for not having such copyrights.


While some would argue that has killed the music industry, many more would say it has opened doors for artists to distribute music. However, that ability has become harder on Groove. The company is now blocking new releases that don't have full mechanical licensing.

The report comes from Digital Music News, suggesting original distributors of music will now find it hard to publish on Microsoft Groove.

Of course, this started out as just a tip from a source. Digital Music News decided to do some investigating. The outlet contacted TuneCore, a company that distributes music across streaming services like Spotify, iTunes, and Groove. The answer appears to back up the initial tip:

“Please note that your sound recording(s) may not be available for streaming until Groove is able to license certain rights in the underlying musical composition(s). Customers can register their catalogs with Music Reports… which provides clearance services to stores.”

Is Microsoft Groove Protecting Itself?

There has been no prior warning that Microsoft Groove would change its policy. It seems as though the new stipulation has been in effect since January, 2017 and clearing new songs can take three months.

We imagine original content music distributors will be troubled by this development, although Microsoft's actions are logical. Rival streaming services like Spotify and Pandora have been slapped with huge fines for not having mechanical licenses. Microsoft is simply avoiding going through the same legal problems.

If you are unfamiliar with the term, a mechanical license is long-standing copyright term. Such a license allows artists (or in this case distributors) reproduce work from other artists.

At least that's the presumption. Microsoft has yet to say anything publicly about this change or the reasons behind it.

Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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