Music Modernization Act passed by US House Judiciary Committee

The United States House Judiciary Committee voted unanimously today (32-0) to approve the new Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447).

The bill, which will reform music licensing laws in the market, now awaits consideration by the full House of Representatives.

The Music Modernization Act package, introduced by Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Jerrold Member Nadler (D-NY), contains three key elements

  • The Music Modernization Act reforms Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that administers the mechanical reproduction rights for all digital uses of musical compositions – like those used in interactive streaming models offered by Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google and others. It also repeals Section 114(i) and, consistent with most federal litigation, utilizes random assignment of judges to decide ASCAP and BMI rate-setting cases.
  • The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) would benefit artists and music creators who recorded music before 1972 by establishing royalty payments whenever their music is played on digital radio. SoundExchange would distribute royalties for pre-’72 recordings played by Internet, cable and satellite radio services just as it does for post-’72 recordings. Currently only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services under federal law.
  • The AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act) for the first time adds producers and engineers, who play an indispensable role in the creation of sound recordings, to U.S. copyright law. The bill codifies into law the producer’s right to collect digital royalties and provides a consistent, permanent process for studio professionals to receive royalties for their contributions to the creation of music. .

 

National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) President & CEO David Israelite said: “The House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) is a critical step towards finally fixing the system to pay songwriters what they deserve.

“We greatly appreciate the committee’s attention to helping music creators, specifically Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, Congressman Hakeem Jeffries, and a special thanks to Congressman Doug Collins for being the driving force behind the MMA.

“There is unprecedented consensus and momentum behind this bill, and we look forward to seeing it soon pass the full House.”

“The House Judiciary Committee’s approval of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) is a critical step towards finally fixing the system to pay songwriters what they deserve.”

David Israelite (pictured)

RIAA Chairman & CEO Cary Sherman added: “As this historic legislation begins to advance through Congress, we move one step closer to the finish line.  A unanimous vote should send unmistakable signal to lawmakers in both chambers:  this package of reforms enjoys deep, bipartisan support.  And for good reason –  this bill is result of thoughtful, extensive examination of the patchwork of antiquated music licensing laws that poorly serve creators.

“This includes the unintended and unfair quirk in the law that denies legacy artists the federal right to be compensated by digital radio services.  We are grateful for the stewardship of Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler, as well as Representatives Issa, Johnson, Collins, Jeffries, Smith, and Deutch, who all have been tireless advocates for this important legislation. We now look to the House floor, and urge all Members of Congress to advance this bill to help make these critical reforms a reality.”Music Business Worldwide

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