Senate Passage Is Next Step For Music Reform After Big Week In The House
"I would note that only one week ago GRAMMYs on the Hill brought hundreds of artists to DC to explain to their own Members of Congress how important an updated licensing system is to them. This bill delivers that for them, just one day before World Intellectual Property Day, when we recognize the value of intellectual property and those who create it." — House Judiciary Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.); Conversations In Advocacy #17
Music is engaging the public like never before. Now, thanks to unprecedented engagement by music's advocates, we are one step closer to a momentous breakthrough for copyright reform.
When the House Judiciary Committee held a special field hearing in New York City on copyright reform during GRAMMY Week 2018, it was the hope of legislators and music creators testifying that separate bills supported by creative stakeholders would be consolidated into a copyright reform omnibus package. The new Music Modernization Act, H.R. 5447, introduced on April 10 by Committee Chair Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) made good on exactly that.
On April 18, the GRAMMYs on the Hill Awards, followed by Advocacy Day on April 19, gave GRAMMY winners and elected lawmakers a chance to compare notes — and they were singing the same tune. Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.), who introduced the previous, songwriter-focused version of the MMA, said the reason to fight to protect the music industry is so the hopes and dreams of music's many stakeholders will "continue to be part of the fabric of America."
"To our advocates here tonight, I can tell you that your years of lobbying together have paid off," said Recording Academy Chief Industry, Government and Member Relations Officer Daryl P. Friedman. "Songwriters, artists and producers have supported one another and now Congress has a bill that will support you all."
Not only did H.R. 5447 pass out of the House Judiciary Committee with unanimous support, on April 25 it passed the House of Representatives by a second unanimous vote of 415-0. Many representatives spoke to the moment's importance and their remarks can be seen on Facebook and Twitter or in the Congressional Record.
The House just passed the #MusicModernizationAct by a bipartisan vote of 415-0. This is a historic step toward ensuring the music industry can continue to flourish by modernizing our music copyright laws so music creators are fairly compensated for their works. pic.twitter.com/gjDAmpjCbS
— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) April 25, 2018
"I am on safe ground when I say that this bill fits right into the perfect sweet spot on both timing and substance," said Chairman Goodlatte.
The bill's unanimous passage confirmed and reinforced his statement.
Reach out to let your senators know you are part of the bipartisan community of advocates ready to take the next step. Music is more important than ever to our 24/7-connected world, and the Senate is now able to bank the years of work that went into crafting the new MMA and make 2018 copyright reform into U.S. law. We are all-in. Stand with us now and raise your voice, too.
"Conversations in Advocacy" is your weekend digital tip sheet on music advocacy and the policies that affect music makers and their craft. New installments post every Friday.