Recording Academy toasts the MMA
Music Modernization Act Celebrates Two Year Anniversary
Believe it or not, just two short years ago the Recording Academy and the music community it represents celebrated a monumental moment when the Music Modernization Act (MMA) was signed into law by President Trump on Oct. 11, 2018. After years of advocating for the game-changing legislation, this victory for creators' rights ushered in a new era of fair compensation for music makers. Two years later, some of the bill's biggest benefits are starting to materialize.
Let's take a closer look at the MMA's ever-growing list of accomplishments thus far.
Launch of the Music Licensing Collective
Coming Jan. 1, 2021, one of the greatest promises of the MMA, the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) will kick into action, establishing a better system for songwriters to be paid fairly and timely from digital services. The Recording Academy was a key voice in the designation of the MLC, and continues to work with the MLC and the Copyright Office to establish the best rules and regulations for the operation of the new process and to utilize its Chapters and thousands of members to assist the MLC in songwriter outreach to ensure the MLC’s success. Thanks to the MMA, a new licensing system to improve payouts to songwriters will officially begin on Jan. 1, as one of the bill's biggest benefits comes to fruition.
Later this month, the Recording Academy and the MLC will host a webinar to inform and empower the songwriter and music making community to take full advantage of the new-and-improved system. The webinar will be held at 9am PT/12pm ET on Monday, October 19.
Legacy Artists Get Their Due
Shockingly, prior to passage of the MMA, artists involved in sound recordings fixed before Feb. 15, 1972, were left out of receiving compensation for their work on digital platforms. The MMA closed this pre-1972 loophole that had denied older artists fair compensation. Since the MMA's passage, the Copyright Office issued final rules and regulations for “classic” recordings, allowing artists of every era to benefit from the establishment of new fair market guidelines for government set royalty rates in future Copyright Royalty Board (CRB) proceedings.
Ensuring legacy artists get paid what they're due had an immediate impact on music makers, bringing in more than $10 million for pre-72 artists in royalties through SoundExchange in the first year alone.
Copyright Protection For Studio Pros
A lot goes into crafting a hit record. With the passage of the MMA, the rights of those working behind-the-scenes in music took a huge step forward, granting copyright protection to producers, mixers and engineers for the first time in history. Copyright protections for studio professionals had long been a goal of the Recording Academy, and thanks to the MMA, those working those “in the booth” have a permanent right to collect their royalties.
Two years ago, the MMA's comprehensive music licensing reform did much to bring and copyright law into the modern era. Looking back on its success – and the hard work involved in getting across the finish line – reminds us that advocacy works.