Neil Portnow and Sen. Chuck Grassley
Photo: Leigh Vogel/WireImage.com
Music Modernization Act Passes Unanimously In Senate Judiciary Committee
Standing on history's doorstep, the Music Modernization Act promises to finally bring our music licensing system out of the Stone Age and into a new era of mutually beneficial policy reform. On June 28, the Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously, drawing the landmark bill one step closer to becoming a reality.
"Great music comes from great harmonies. As the organization representing all creators, we are gratified to see the industry and Congress work in harmony to pass the Music Modernization Act through the Senate Judiciary Committee," said Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow. "Following years of advocacy by music creators, we look forward to that momentum continuing as the Music Modernization Act heads to the Senate floor. We thank the Committee for its swift movement of the bill. Through collaboration we can truly make a difference for the hundreds of thousands of working music creators across the country."
Ahead of the scheduled markup and vote, a manager's amendment was released this week that reflects consensus agreements that benefit music creators by increasing transparency, awareness and accountability. The bipartisan amendment, introduced by Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) with the support of Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), solidifies the agreement on both sides of the aisle over the dire need to update music licensing and close loopholes that prevent music creators from receiving proper compensation for their work.
Earlier this month, Department of Justice Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim added his voice to the chorus of support for the MMA, taking the stage at the National Music Publishers Association annual meeting to back the bill. Delrahim is just one of the latest to join the mounting support swell for the MMA ahead of the Senate Judiciary Committee vote.
Although the MMA has already passed the House of Representatives by a unanimous 415–0 vote, not everyone is on board with this mutually beneficial piece of legislation reform. Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) introduced the Accessibility for Curators, Creators, Educators, Scholars, and Society (ACCESS) to Recordings Act, a misleading, alternate bill that threatens to distract from the MMA's progress . The arguments for ACCESS and against the MMA are flimsy at best, and the bill has done little thus far to slow the momentum of meaningful legislation reform.
Now, with Senate Judiciary Committee weighing in with unanimous support, the MMA's journey ahead moves toward a full Senate vote. The need for meaningful music legislation policy reform has never been greater, and as stakeholders from across the creative and internet industries rally behind the MMA with more steam than ever before, the Senate now holds the key to unlocking a better system for all.