Industry Reacts To Music Modernization Act Passage: AIMP, BMI. A2IM, NMPA, SoundEx, ASCAP, More
[UPDATE 4] The music industry was quick to react to the United States Senate's unanimous passages of S. 2823 the Music Modernization Act, a bipartisan bill cosponsored by more than 80 Senators that brings the music licensing system into the digital age.
Michael Eames, President of the Association of Independent Music Publishers (AIMP); Alisa Coleman, AIMP New York Executive Director; and John Ozier, AIMP Nashville Executive Director issued a joint statement:
“The AIMP applauds today’s unanimous passage of the appropriately named Orrin G. Hatch Music Modernization Act (MMA) in the U.S. Senate, clearing the path for its much-needed reforms to become law once ratified in the House and signed by the President. With support from both sides of the political aisle, along with unprecedented cooperation between the music and technology industry, the MMA will be a massive step forward for the independent publishing community and the music industry in general, which has been hamstrung by antiquated copyright laws for far too long. Now, independent publishers and songwriters will enjoy a more modern and realistic rate standard, a central public database to ease royalty payments from digital services, the end of evidence limitations placed on rights-holders arguing for more accurate royalty rates, the ability for PROs to be heard by more than just the same two judges, and a clear and final determination that digital services must pay for the use of pre-1972 recordings. None of this would be possible without NMPA President & CEO David Israelite and his staff, who have been instrumental in crafting and passing the MMA, and the AIMP thanks them along with Sen. Lamar Alexander for his articulate explanation of why this legislation is so important, and every U.S. Senator who has recognized the rights of independent publishers and songwriters by passing this legislation.”
“The Senate’s unanimous passage of The Music Modernization Act is a monumental step forward in getting this critical piece of legislation signed in to law. This bill has been the product of unprecedented collaboration across the entire industry, and we thank Senators Hatch, Alexander, Grassley, Feinstein, Whitehouse, Coons, and the entire Senate, for helping to ensure that songwriters and composers can continue to earn a living creating the music that is loved all over the world.”
“The passing of the MMA bill is yet another example of what can be achieved when creators and their representatives stand together for fairer remuneration. A2IM is grateful to all the people involved in finally making this a part of our music industry reality. All creators should be compensated fairly and A2IM is a strong advocate to ensure that happens not only for independent artists and labels, but for all music creators and the businesses that support them. We look forward to the bill becoming a law, and giving all music creators what they have deserved for so long.
A2IM is grateful to both chambers of Congress for turning this historic and enormously relevant bill into a law. Without the support from the community of music – independent and major – and almost every Member of Congress for creating a bill that will equally benefit all American music creators for decades to come.”
“Today is a momentous day for songwriters, artists, composers, producers, engineers and the entire industry that revolves around them. The Senate vote marks a true step forward towards fairness for the people at the heart of music who have long been undervalued due to outdated laws. This was a long and complex process but ultimately the music industry has come out stronger and more united than ever. We commend Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Chuck Grassley and Senate Leadership for swiftly moving this bill to the floor. Now we anxiously await the House’s final approval of the MMA and seeing it signed into law.”
"The passage of the Music Modernization Act by the Senate is a historic moment for the tens of thousands of music creators across the nation," said Neil Portnow, President/CEO of the Recording Academy. "Since first proposing the music industry unite around a common bill in 2014, our members have lobbied in Washington and all 50 states to achieve this vision. When creators raise their voices for fairness, they make great progress."
"The passing of the Music Modernization Act by the Senate is a huge turning point," said Harvey Mason Jr., Recording Academy National Advocacy Committee Co-Chair and four-time GRAMMY®-nominated producer and songwriter. "This vote says loudly and clearly that music and those that create it are valued by our government and its citizens. We are all so thankful for this step to ensure music makers are compensated fairly."
"The future of the music industry got brighter today. Creators of music moved one step closer to getting paid more fairly. And industry forces that fought to maintain an unfair and harmful status quo were rebuffed. Now, SoundExchange's 170,000-member community has just one word for the House of Representatives: Encore.""The Music Modernization Act proves what can happen when constructive industry leaders work together towards a greater good. The SoundExchange community joined a historic coalition of artists, labels, songwriters, music publishers, streaming services, performance rights organizations, producers, engineers and unions. The outcome of this collaboration is a law that sets a new framework to guide the future of the music industry. There are still issues regarding creator fairness that we need to address, but today we celebrate a new era of cooperation and progress across the industry."
“Today’s unanimous passage of the Music Modernization Act in the Senate represents a Herculean industry-wide effort to promote and celebrate songwriters and ensure their right to a sustainable livelihood. We applaud Senators Hatch, Alexander, Grassley, Feinstein, Whitehouse, Coons and the entire Senate for recognizing the value music has in both society and our hearts.”
Songwriter, ASCAP President and Chairman of the Board Paul Williams:
“American songwriters work tirelessly behind the scenes to create the music that fans all over the world enjoy. Today, we made history by joining together and working for Senate passage of the Music Modernization Act, bringing us one step closer to a music licensing framework that reflects how people listen to music today. We urge the House of Representatives to swiftly pass the Senate bill, so the President can sign it into law and music creators can begin to see the benefits of this critical reform.” – Paul Williams, songwriter, ASCAP Chairman of the Board and President
Mitch Glazier, President, Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA)
“As legendary band the Grateful Dead once said in an iconic pre-1972 song, ‘what a long strange trip it’s been.’ It’s been an epic odyssey, and we’re thrilled to almost be at our destination.
“For the modern U.S. Senate to unanimously pass a 185-page bill is a herculean feat, only achievable because of the grit, determination and mobilization of thousands of music creators across the nation. The result is a bill that moves us toward a modern music licensing landscape better founded on fair market rates and fair pay for all. At long last, a brighter tomorrow for both past and future generations of music creators is nearly upon us. We are indebted to the leadership of Senators Hatch, Grassley, Feinstein, Alexander, Coons, Kennedy and Whitehouse for helping get us there.”
Frank Scibilia, partner, Pryor Cashman LLP
“The Music Modernization Act is an historic achievement. As part of an unprecedented compromise between music creators and rights owners on the one hand and digital services on the other, the services now have a means by which they may easily obtain the requisite mechanical licenses for interactive streaming on a blanket basis and thereby avoid the risk of streaming music without proper licenses, and royalties that had previously gone unpaid will now find their way to creators and rights owners. A quirk in the law has been eliminated so that the great legacy artists that provide so much value to satellite radio and similar services will now be compensated for such services’ use of their recordings in the same manner as current artists. And the standard applicable to the Copyright Royalty Board’s determination of rates for section 115 licenses for musical works has now been changed to the “willing-buyer-willing-seller standard”, which is both a market-based standard and consistent with the standard applicable to the Board’s determination of rates for section 114 licenses for sound recordings.
Content Creators Coalition (c3) and MusicAnswers
“The Content Creators Coalition and MusicAnswers applaud the Senate passage and expected prompt House passage of the Music Modernization Act. The bill is a great step forward towards a fairer music ecosystem that works better for music creators, services, and fans. Our organizations have been pleased to join in the efforts of the music creator community in support of this bill."
“We also are gratified that our two organizations, in collaboration and independent of other groups, were able to make meaningful contributions to the final legislation, including comprehensive and publicly available audits of the MMA’s new Mechanical Licensing Collective and ensuring that the Collective uses best practices to find the owners of unclaimed royalties. We appreciate the receptivity of key legislators and their staffs to these fundamental notions of transparency and accountability."
“Going forward, we pledge to work with other committed music creator organizations to ensure that songwriters and composers receive the royalties their work has generated and to see that, despite the lack of equal representation for songwriters on the board of the Collective, unclaimed royalties are distributed to the songwriters who earned them. We thank our many thousands of members and signatories for their support of our efforts as we continue to fight for the rights of music creators.”