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Pass The Legislation, Please: 7 Things Music Makers Can Be Thankful For This Thanksgiving
The season of giving thanks is upon us. As Americans spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, many will reflect on the blessings in their lives. For music makers, the gift of music will surely make the list, but there's more than melody, harmony and groove to be grateful for this year…
From a new bill that aims to finally fix one of the biggest loopholes in music policy to the Music Modernization Act already working its magic, here are seven things that can help music makers put the "thanks" in Thanksgiving.
1. New AM-FM Act Introduced
Just last week, the Ask Musicians for their Music (AM-FM) Act was introduced in the House and Senate. The AM-FM Act would finally establish performance rights for terrestrial radio, giving artists the control to seek fair compensation for their work. . We can be grateful the bill is the first step toward fixing this glaring oversight.
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) November 22, 2019
2. CASE Act Passing the House of Representatives
Another exciting piece of legislation on the table right now is the Copyright Alternative Small Claims Enforcement Act (CASE Act), which would simplify and streamline the process for creators to defend their work against infringement by setting up a small claims court for independent songwriters and artists. With the bill passing 410-6 in the House and headed to the Senate, we can be grateful that copyright protection will soon no longer be reserved for those with big enough budgets to afford expensive federal lawsuits.
3. DOJ Reviewing Consent Decrees
True story: the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, which govern the process by which the two performing rights organizations license rights to publicly perform music, have been in place for nearly 80 years despite the industry around them changing drastically. We can be grateful the Department of Justice is reviewing these consent decrees to ensure songwriters are getting a fair shake in the modern music industry.
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) August 16, 2019
4. "Pre-'72" Artists Are (Finally) Getting Paid
The passage of the Music Modernization Act last year marked a sea change in music legislation. While music makers of all types benefit from the historic bill, artists who released music prior to 1972 were among the first to see long overdue royalties—already more than $10 million—as the MMA closed a major loophole. We can be grateful the music makers of the prior era are finally receiving compensation for their work.
5. Mechanical Licensing Collective Gets Ready
Another way the MMA is improving the livelihoods of music makers is by preparing for the launch of the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC), which will manage the new blanket mechanical license for songwriters and publishers and handle royalty collection and distribution as established by the MMA. We can be grateful the Copyright Office has made its Final Rule, designating both the MLC and the Digital Licensing Coordinator, the entity that will represent the interests of the digital streaming services that use the new blanket license.
— GRAMMY Advocacy (@GRAMMYAdvocacy) November 21, 2019
6. Increase in NEA Funding
The arts, especially music, benefit the lives of young people in so many ways, big and small. Thanks to passionate advocacy from the music community and the Recording Academy, we can be grateful Congress actually increased funding for the National Endowment of the Arts (NEA) in its annual budget, ensuring more programs will receive the critical dollars they need to bring and keep music into the lives of students nationwide.
7. Your voice matters
While there is much to be grateful for, there is also much work left to do. Learn more about the issues affecting music creators on the Recording Academy's simple and informative issues and policy page and contact your Members of Congress today and urge them to support the policy and initiatives above.