US Government Passes Act To Change Music Licensing Rights

Written by Mary Woodcock

27 April 2018

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On April 25th, the US House of Representatives passed the Music Modernization Act, which fundamentally changes the way music is licensed and license holders are paid, a report from Billboard reads.

This is a huge development for US artists, producers, record labels and other rights holders because it changes the way royalty payments are collected based on a system using metadata, meaning that recording this data is even more important. The legislation will create a blanket mechanical license with an agency to assign rights and collect royalty payments, as well performance reports from digital services to assure songwriters and publishers receive the correct fees.

Copyright infringement claims can no longer be made against digital services, with the exception being – services that don’t pay rights holders and fulfill reporting requirements to the agency administering licenses. The bill will need to be passed in the Senate to become national law but with the unanimous support it received in the House the bill’s passing is likely.

“The House passage of the Music Modernization Act is truly historic for songwriters and the entire music ecosystem which they fuel,” said National Music Publishers Association president and CEO David Israelite in a statement. “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…. 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.”

For more see the full Billboard article here.

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