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CONGRESS TO TACKLE MUSIC MONETIZATION

A Congressional bill that will adjust the way songwriters, artists and other creatives are paid royalties was introduced today in the House of Representatives.

It is expected that the Music Modernization Act of 2017 will move out of the committee on Wednesday and receive a full vote as early as the end of the month.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.)today introduced the bill, which has nearly 70 co-sponsors from both sides of the aisle. 

Once approved, which appears likely, it moves to the Senate, which has the right to adjust the bill before sending it to the President.

The bill unites provisions from four previously introduced bills—the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, the CLASSICS Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and a songwriter-specific version of the Music Modernization Act—under one legislative umbrella.  The bill would establish a SoundExchange-like system to track digital uses; close the pre-1972 loophole; and add producers and engineers to the artists receiving remuneration.

The Recording Academy, RIAA, ASCAP, BMI, the American Association of Independent Music and the American Federation of Musicians have supported the bill.

"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," said Recording Academy CEO and President Neil Portnow. "With the introduction of the Music Modernization Act, this dream of bringing fairness to all creators is now close to reality."

National Music Publishers Association boss David Israelite issued the following statement:

"The Music Modernization Act (MMA) is the most significant update to music copyright law in a generation and represents unprecedented compromise among songwriter, music publisher, artist, record label, and digital music groups. The Music Modernization Act will help ensure a healthy digital music ecosystem, most importantly for the songwriters who create the music that makes such an ecosystem even possible.  It was not easy to achieve a consensus package, but we are grateful for music champions like Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler who have worked to foster agreement and we are eager for them to move this bill forward.  A special thanks to Congressman Doug Collins for being the driving force behind the MMA."

Added SoundExchange chief Michael Huppe: "This legislation is moving forward because Congress has heard the voices of music creators asking for copyright laws that reflect the realities of today’s music marketplace. The modernization outlined in this bill is long overdue, and with the momentum created by its introduction, it’s critical that music creators continue reaching out to their representative to urge swift consideration of this legislation."

Still to be considered is the Fair Play Fair Pay proviso for terrestrial radio that the National Association of Broadcasters has consistently opposed.

This may be the only time the music biz would universally welcome a document signed by President Trump.

 

 

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