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SENATE PANEL APPROVES MMA

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the Music Modernization Act with an amendment added to promote communication between the Department of Justice and Congress regarding any future changes to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees.

The MMA now goes before the full Senate for passage. If passed by the full Senate, the House of Representatives will need to accept the Senate version before sending to the president for signature. The House previously passed its version of the MMA unanimously.

“With the many important stakeholders involved, it is no small feat for the MMA to have made it this far, and once the MMA is signed into law, songwriters will see more of the money they deserve from streaming services who currently operate off of laws from 1909 and consent decrees from 1941,” said NMPA President & CEO David Israelite. “We look forward to seeing the full Senate pass the MMA.”

"Great music comes from great harmonies," reads a statement from Recording Academy chief Neil Portnow. "As the organization representing all creators, we are gratified to see the industry and Congress work in harmony to pass the Music Modernization Act through the Senate Judiciary Committee. Following years of advocacy by music creators, we look forward to that momentum continuing as the Music Modernization Act heads to the Senate floor. We thank the Committee for its swift movement of the bill. Through collaboration we can truly make a difference for the hundreds of thousands of working music creators across the country. Here's hoping that Congress doesn't outlaw dancing." 

 ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said, "ASCAP thanks Chairman Grassley for bringing the Music Modernization Act to markup and to Senators Hatch, Alexander and Whitehouse for being such stalwart champions of songwriters. We are happy to see this legislation move forward with such broad bipartisan support.

"While there is still more work to be done to create a fair environment for songwriters in the digital age, we hope the Senate will move swiftly to pass a version of this bill that preserves the much-needed benefits for music creators."

The bill was also amended to include increased oversight and ensure greater transparency in the operation of the Mechanical Licensing Collective and a plan to educate copyright owners and songwriters as to the unclaimed royalties process.

The MIC Coalition of music providers stated, “we applaud the Senate Judiciary Committee for their willingness to include our agreement in the MMA. The bipartisan effort reflects a unified message from music users, including most recently more than 1,100 bars, hotels, restaurants and wineries who wrote to the DOJ asking it to preserve the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees in order to protect their ability to play music, host new and local artists, and avoid substantial marketplace chaos.”

 

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