House Of Representatives Unanimously Passes Music Modernization Act
An overhaul of U.S. music copyright and royalty payments is on its way to becoming law with Wednesday’s unanimous vote by the United States House of Representatives to pass the Music Modernization Act.
The bill has widespread support from the music industry, which has called the legislation historic and long overdue. A bipartisan effort, the bill combines the Music Modernization Act (MMA), the CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society), and the AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers).
The legislation will establish an equivalent of the non-profit collective rights management organization SoundExchange “for songwriters to track credits and distribute royalties when digital services use their work,” according to Variety.
The bill also includes updating the royalty standard to reflect a song’s worth in today’s marketplace, providing federal royalty protection to recordings made before 1972; and ending the Copyright Office mass “Notice of Intent” program, according to an announcement from the Nashville Songwriters Association International praising the vote. Plus, U.S. copyright law will be updated to include producers and engineers.
“We are an important step closer to the adoption of this landmark copyright reform legislation,” Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI) President Steve Bogard said in a statement. “I’ve seen too many of my colleagues give up writing songs professionally because of unfairly low streaming royalties and other changes in the era of digital music delivery. The MMA gives us tools to move toward better compensation from streaming companies, while giving songwriters and music publishers control of digital mechanical music licensing.”
Following the 415-0 vote in the House, the bill goes to the U.S. Senate for a hearing in the Senate Judiciary Committee on May 15.