Richard Thompson is the interim CIO for the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC). Richard is a pioneer in the development and implementation of technology for music rights management, serving as the CTO of Kobalt Music Group for 17 years, from startup to the company’s position as one of the major music publishing companies. He was also the former Chair of the global music international music metadata standards group DDEX for nearly a decade, and was particularly involved in the area of mechanical rights. Richard’s broad expertise is at work as the MLC implements the first statutory blanket licensing system for mechanical rights in the U.S., which will process billions of dollars in royalties from digital streaming services and pay them out to songwriters and music publishers around the world. The MLC is also tasked with maintaining a publicly-accessible database of songs for reviewing rights ownership and claiming of unmatched royalties.