Music Modernization Act Passed By US Senate

by Bo Turner in Announcements September 19, 2018

The House of Representatives passed their Music Modernization Act in April which caused another similar bill to be presented to the US Senate. However complications were presented upon those in favor of passing the act when companies like SiriusXM and SESAC objected certain aspects of it, as it could negatively affect their stream of revenue. But after numerous demands from a large majority of the music industry (including major artists such as Katy Perry and Paul McCartney), the Senate has finally come to a decision. Today, the US Senate unanimously agreed to pass the Music Modernization Act and will finally be implemented after reconsideration of the House and President. This long awaited news has the music industry absolutely ecstatic.

There are no doubt a large number of individuals involved in the music industry who don’t completely understand what this means for them. But if you’re a songwriter, artist, composer, producer, or anyone else even remotely related to these positions, your experience in the music industry could get significantly better. Here’s why.

What is The Music Modernization Act and why should you care?

The Music Modernization Act includes pieces of legislation that will benefit a multitude of positions within the music industry. Here’s a couple of the major reforms included in the Music Modernization Act that everyone reading should be aware of:

The CLASSICS Act: The CLASSICS Act, (AKA the Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) is a piece of legislation that will greatly benefit those with music released before the year 1972. According to current US law only songs recorded post-1972 are valid for royalty collection on radio stations. The CLASSICS Act changes this law and will now ensure that artists and songwriters receive their rightfully deserved revenue from SoundExchange.

The AMP Act: Today songwriters and engineers do not have the proper ability to collect royalties from other producers using their content. The Allocation for Music Producers Act will now include these songwriters and engineers to copyright law. Great news for these two positions!

Several other Reforms for Right Holders: The Music Modernization Act also contains many other repeals and reforms that will “modernize” the process in which right holders collect royalties, and make the overall process of collecting easier for the many groups involved in music streaming. Once implemented, the act will bring in more revenue to the content creators of streamed music rather than allowing the DSP’s to collect the unclaimed money.

The act will also implement ONE big comprehensive database for all US publishers. Service providers will now be forced to pay for the creation and sustainability of a large unified database that will hold all licensing information in one accessible location.

This news truly is huge for the music industry, and calls for the celebration of such a great accomplishment. The President of RIAA Mitch Glazier states in response to the new legislation, “At long last, a brighter tomorrow for both past and future generations of music creators is nearly upon us.”