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23 Top Music Orgs. Endorse Licensing Reform Legislation

billProminent music trade groups and other organizations representing U.S. music publishers, record labels, songwriters, composers, artists and performance rights organizations (PROs) today announced their united support for key pieces of pending music legislation.

23 major music organizations: The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), The Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), American Association of Independent Music (A2IM), the Recording Academy, the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), The American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP), Broadcast Music Inc. (BMI), the Production Music Association (PMA), the Church Music Publishers Association (CMPA), the Music Publishers Association (MPA), the Council of Music Creators (CMC), the Society of Composers and Lyricists (SCL), MusicAnswers, the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), SAG-AFTRA, the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP), SoundExchange, SX Works, the Administrators of Gospel Music (AGM), the Content Creators Coalition and the Music Managers Forum U.S.  today officially endorsed:

  • The Music Modernization Act of 2017
  • The CLASSICS Act
  • The AMP Act
  • A market-based rate standard for artists from satellite radio

These organizations also expressed  strong support for resolving the lack of a terrestrial performance right to provide fair compensation for sound recordings.

Music community leaders say it is essential to work together and support related reforms, especially now that Congress is expected to consider and advance legislation in 2018.

“Today is truly a new day for songwriters and artists," said NMPA President & CEO David Israelite. "We are all coming together to support each other’s efforts to modernize and bring fairness to how music creators are paid. Music has value – and that value is not reflected in the way songwriters and artists are treated under century-old laws that have not kept pace with technology. Right now, there is unprecedented momentum behind efforts to fix outdated laws that prevent music creators from earning what they deserve, and I am thrilled to say that publishers, songwriters, composers, labels, artists and PROs stand together to fix them.”

"The recorded music industry speaks with one voice in support of the Music Modernization Act and to further rationalize copyright law.," confirms A2IM CEO Richard James Burgess. This legislation brings us one step closer to our goal of creators and copyright owners being compensated fairly for all uses of their work. We urge Congress to move forward on these important reforms, to seek market rates for all music streaming, and to demand that American artists be paid for terrestrial radio performances.”

An overview of each legislative initiative:

The Music Modernization Act would be the most significant update to music copyright law in over a generation and represents unprecedented compromise across all aspects of the music industry. The bill 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.

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