Today, President Donald Trump signed into law the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act (MMA), the first reform of music copyright law in decades. The MMA includes language that will formally establish an enhanced oversight for Congress as the Department of Justice reviews consent decrees with the two largest performing rights organizations — ASCAP and BMI — which collectively license over 90% of the musical works that are played on local radio and television stations.
The bill included three pieces of legislation: the Music Modernization Act of 2018, which updates licensing and royalties for streaming music; the CLASSICS Act, which ensures artists receive royalties for pre-1972 music; and the AMP Act, which affects royalties for producers and engineers. The Senate unanimously passed the bill in September. It had already passed in the House of Representatives in April.
Elizabeth Matthews, ASCAP Chief Executive, “Thanks to the unrelenting efforts of our ASCAP music creator and publisher members, industry partners and champions in Congress, a more sustainable future for songwriters is finally within reach. The MMA’s unanimous passage in the House and Senate proves that the power of music is a great unifier. ASCAP is gratified to have stood alongside creators, music publishers, and many more to make this dream a reality.”
Paul Williams, songwriter, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President, “A young songwriter once wrote, ‘You give a little love and it all comes back to you; You’re gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do.’ Decades later, this could not be more true. Songwriters across this country now and in the future will remember those who fought so hard for the Music Modernization Act—both in Congress and across the music industry. On behalf of the music community, we are so thankful for the love and will return the favor with music for generations to come.”
BMI’s President & CEO Mike O’Neill: “This is truly a historic moment for the music industry, especially for the American songwriters and composers at its core, who will see significant and deserved benefit from this legislation. Passage of the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act was a hard-fought process that hinged on tremendous collaboration and unprecedented support among diverse stakeholders who ultimately united to safeguard the future of music. We are gratified by this extraordinary outcome that recognizes the essential contributions of creators and streamlines the use of their music across businesses. While BMI will keep advocating to protect the livelihood of music creators in the digital age, we thank Congress and the President for taking this important step in implementing the most meaningful music licensing reform in decades.”
NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith: “NAB is grateful for President Trump’s signature on the Orrin G. Hatch-Bob Goodlatte Music Modernization Act, thus culminating a years-long process to find consensus solutions to music licensing issues. This important legislation will benefit songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services, and music listeners. We appreciate the bipartisan process that resulted in passage of this landmark legislation. Senator Hatch and Chairman Goodlatte deserve credit for their diligent work on copyright issues over the years, and NAB commends their leadership alongside Chairman Grassley and Ranking Members Nadler and Feinstein – along with Representatives Collins and Jeffries and Senators Whitehouse, Alexander and Coons – to skillfully guide this legislation through Congress.”