NMPA Praises Historic House Passage of the Music Modernization Act

April 25, 2018

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2018
Media Contact: Charlotte Sellmyer

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the United States House of Representatives voted unanimously with a vote of 415-0 to pass the Music Modernization Act.

The bill, sponsored by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) combines the Music Modernization Act (MMA), originally introduced by Congressmen Doug Collins (R-GA) and Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY), with the CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society), originally introduced by Darrell Issa (R-CA) and the AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers), originally introduced by Congressmen Tom Rooney (R-FL) and Joe Crowley (D-NY).

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite released the following statement praising the House vote.

“The House passage of the Music Modernization Act is truly historic for songwriters and the entire music ecosystem which they fuel,” said Israelite. “The MMA improves how songwriters are paid and how their work is valued, both of which are long overdue. The bill also helps digital streaming companies by giving them access to all the music their consumers want to enjoy.”

Israelite added, “I am immensely grateful to Congressmen Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries who have seen this process through from the beginning and have stood by songwriters through a complex and lengthy collaboration process, and to Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler for getting this bill to the House floor. Today’s vote sends a strong message that streaming services and songwriters can be on the same side – pushing for a better future for all. We now look forward to the Senate advancing the MMA and it ultimately becoming law.”

The Music Modernization Act package contains three key titles:

The Music Modernization Act reforms Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act to create a single licensing entity that administers the mechanical reproduction rights for all digital uses of musical compositions – like those used in interactive streaming models offered by Apple, Spotify, Amazon, Pandora, Google and others. It also repeals Section 114(i) and, consistent with most federal litigation, utilizes random assignment of judges to decide ASCAP and BMI rate-setting cases – two provisions that will enable fairer outcomes for songwriters and composers.

The CLASSICS Act (Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act) would benefit artists and music creators who recorded music before 1972 by establishing royalty payments whenever their music is played on digital radio. SoundExchange would distribute royalties for pre-’72 recordings played by Internet, cable and satellite radio services just as it does for post-’72 recordings. Currently only sound recordings made after 1972 receive payments from digital radio services under federal law.

The AMP Act (Allocation for Music Producers Act) for the first time adds producers and engineers, who play an indispensable role in the creation of sound recordings, to U.S. copyright law. The bill codifies into law the producer’s right to collect digital royalties and provides a consistent, permanent process for studio professionals to receive royalties for their contributions to the creation of music.