Rep. Doug Collins and Daryl Freidman
Photo: Paul Morigi/Getty Images
Final Passage Of Music Modernization Act In The House Brings Copyright Reform Closer
The U.S. House of Representatives began a new era in music copyright with its passage of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, the final version of the MMA which returned to the House for approval in its final modified version. Its next stop is the White House, where all that remains is for President Donald J. Trump to sign the MMA into law.
"The trajectory of the Music Modernization Act has shown the power of music creators to effect real change," says Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "From its unanimous approval in the House of Representatives in April, to its passage in the Senate last week, we have seen unprecedented advocacy from the music community. With today's final passage of the bill in the House, we are one step away from the most sweeping music copyright reform since the 8-track tape era, and we look forward to this being signed into law."
The years leading up to this breakthrough began with a call to action in 2014 that has now been fulfilled, when Portnow told Congress it was time for unified music licensing reform. The Recording Academy and other stakeholders in the music community came together to produce 2018's unprecedented unity, an agreement on the principles now embodied in the MMA.
This unified support, combined with activism from the Recording Academy’s members and other music creators, and leadership frommembers of Congress like Reps. Collins, Goodlatte, Nadler, Issa, Jeffries, Crowley, and Rooney, and Senators Hatch, Grassley, Feinstein, Alexander, Coons, and Whitehouse, created the consensus that made unanimous passage of the MMA possible.
Our music reflects so much of what is special about America and with this legislation, the music business' many stakeholders can look forward to new rules of the road with benefits that will pay off for generations. Producers and engineers have been recognized and will now receive statutory protection for the first time ever. Artists whose work first appeared prior to 1972 will now be protected and receive compensation for online spins, and all recording artists will benefit when government rate-setting relies on a fair market standard.
Songwriters also benefit from this fair market standard while ASCAP and BMI will now have the opportunity to secure fairer compensation for their songwriters. And a new mechanical licensing clearinghouse will bring transparency and efficiency for royalty payments when works stream online.
The MMA is a historic achievement, yet one more step remains, as the many successful communities that come together in today's music ecology look to the President to finalize all the work that has led to this unprecedented consensus and sign the MMA into law.