The Music Modernization Act
With the president’s signature, the Modernization Act is officially the law of the land! We must applaud all Members of Congress, both in the House and in the Senate, who voted unanimously to pass the MMA and helped the bill become law. We owe a big thanks to legislators for coming together, recognizing the value music has in both society and our hearts and passing this critical reform.
While there is still progress to be made to ensure songwriters are paid what they deserve, the Music Modernization Act will help songwriters earn fairer compensation for performances of their work through two key provisions:
• Reforming rate court by replacing a single rate court judge for each PRO with different judges randomly assigned to each rate-setting proceeding; and
• Amending Section 114(i) of the Copyright Act to enable the rate court judge to consider royalties paid to recording artists when determining what streaming services will pay songwriters for the exact same performance. Currently, recording artists can make six to ten times more than songwriters.
In addition to these reforms, the law will also eliminate the bulk “NOI” process with a "Mechanical Licensing Collective" to collect and distribute mechanical royalties for digital downloads and interactive streams, adopts a “willing buyer, willing seller” standard for mechanical royalties, creates a federal public performance rights for pre-1972 recordings (CLASSICS Act) and allows SoundExchange to pay record producers directly (AMP Act).
ASCAP would like to thank you all for everything you have done to make this dream a reality—your calls, your social media posts, your letters, your visits to Washington made all the difference and we would not be here today without your efforts.