Recording Academy Leads the Movement to Modernize Music Law
Music creators need copyright reform to ensure fair compensation for their work. Since 1998, the Recording Academy has taken a leading role in urging Congress to modernize music licensing laws that have not kept up with the evolving digital marketplace. You can help by telling Congress to pass the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447/S. 2823) to achieve it!
The Music Modernization Act, the biggest update to music legislation in the past 40 years, is currently under review by Congress. Impacting hundreds of thousands of music creators nationwide, and future generations, the Act unites provisions from across the music community under one legislative umbrella to ensure advancement and protections for all music creators.
The Music Modernization Act would accomplish the following:
- Create a new and transparent collection entity to ensure that songwriters always get paid for mechanical licenses when digital services use their work
- Establish the same fair, market-based rate standard for both artists and songwriters whenever the government sets royalty rates
- Close the "pre-1972 loophole" so that digital services will pay legacy artists the compensation they deserve
- Recognize producers and engineers in copyright law for the first time and protecting their right to collect royalties from SoundExchange
- Improve the rate court process for ASCAP and BMI so that they can secure fair market value for their songwriters
The Music Modernization Act unanimously passed the House of Representatives and has moved to the Senate floor for a vote.
The Recording Academy first called for this comprehensive update to music legislation in 2014 during GRAMMYs on the Hill, with Neil Portnow testifying before Congress shortly after, encouraging its introduction. Since then, the Academy has been tirelessly advocating for its support. On April 18–19, 2018, as a part of the Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, more than 100 GRAMMY winners, nominees, and Academy leaders met with nearly 60 Senate and House offices, including key congressional leadership, to advocate for the bill.
What Members of the Recording Academy Are Saying:
"Since first proposed four years ago at GRAMMYs on the Hill, it has been a goal of the Academy and its members to pass a music omnibus, or 'music bus,' bill that helps our songwriter, performer, producer, and engineer members. With the introduction of the Music Modernization Act, this dream of bringing fairness to all creators is now close to reality."
— Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow
"In order to adequately address the copyright concerns of producers and their collaborators, Congress should pass comprehensive music licensing reform that strengthens protections and promotes fair-market pay for all music creators across all platforms."
— Recording Academy Trustee Mike Clink, record producer and engineer for Guns N' Roses, Megadeth, Metallica, and Mötley Crüe, among others
"What we creators need is to focus our combined efforts on a single package that resolves all of these issues. As a songwriter, producer, and artist, I can tell you that creators know we’re all in this together."
— Recording Academy Trustee Booker T. Jones
"Real music reform cannot be done piecemeal. The comprehensive Music Modernization Act is the only way to strengthen protections and promote fair market pay for all music creators.”
— Recording Academy Trustee Justin Roberts
Recent Victories for the Music Modernization Act