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Music Modernization Act Sails Through House, on to Senate

Apr 25, 2018
Press Release

WASHINGTON—The House of Representatives voted unanimously today—415-0—in favor of the Music Modernization Act, H.R. 5447, sending the landmark copyright bill to the Senate for consideration.

“Five years ago, songwriters showed me the unfairness that had been tucked into sections of American copyright law. While the U.S. Constitution made intellectual property protections an anchor of our economy, other parts of our laws ignore technological realities and undermine free market principles at the expense of music creators and music lovers. Today’s vote shows that the People’s House can mobilize on behalf of the people—their work ethic, their livelihoods and their creative spirit. By updating copyright laws for the digital age, the Music Modernization Act encourages Americans to keep producing the anthems that punctuate our lives.

"I'm grateful to Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler and Rep. Hakeem Jeffries for their tenacity in pursuing these reforms. Now the Senate has the opportunity to prove what I know to be true, that both sides of the Capitol value American innovation and artistry,” said Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.).

H.R. 5447 includes H.R. 4706, the Music Modernization Act originally introduced by Reps. Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.), the CLASSICS Act, introduced by Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), and the AMP Act, introduced by Reps. Joseph Crowley (D-N.Y.) and Tom Rooney (R-Fla.).

Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) introduced S. 2334, a companion to H.R. 4706, in January of this year. The CLASSICS and AMP Acts have also been introduced in the Senate.

“Working together, this vote brings music licensing into the 21st century, where it can better serve those it intends to. Doug Collins worked with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle and the music community to make sure that the reforms passed in the overwhelming fashion that it did. I look forward to the Senate acting on this legislation soon,” said House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.)

“Music, along with the other copyright industries, has enriched our lives and expanded our cultural opportunities. Today the House took a historic step toward ensuring the music industry can continue to flourish by modernizing our music copyright laws so music creators are fairly compensated for their works. The Music Modernization Act, which is the first major update to our music licensing laws in decades, finally brings our music laws into the digital age.

“The Music Modernization Act is the product of endless amounts of hard work by stakeholders and many members of the House Judiciary Committee, as we reviewed our copyright laws to ensure they were keeping pace in the digital age. I especially want to thank Representative Doug Collins for his leadership and dedication on this issue. I urge the Senate to quickly pass this important legislation so it can be sent to the President for his signature," said Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee.

“We are at a unique moment in time where virtually all the major industry stakeholders have come together in support of a common music policy agenda. This is an historic opportunity to resolve some longstanding inequities in the music marketplace by helping digital services more efficiently license and distribute musical works, while ensuring artists, songwriters and other music creators receive fair market value for their work. I am proud to support the Music Modernization Act, which will update the law to better serve both creators and digital music providers,” said Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Committee. 

“The House passage of the Music Modernization Act is truly historic for songwriters and the entire music ecosystem which they fuel. 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.

“I am immensely grateful to Congressmen Doug Collins and Hakeem Jeffries, who have seen this process through from the beginning and have stood by songwriters through a complex and lengthy collaboration process, and to Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler for getting this bill to the House floor. 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. We now look forward to the Senate advancing the MMA and it ultimately becoming law,” said National Music Publishers Association President and CEO, David Israelite.

“DiMA thanks Chairman Goodlatte (R-VA), Ranking Member Nadler (D-NY), Rep. Collins (R-GA) and Rep. Jeffries (D-NY) for their bold leadership in steering the MMA to passage in the House. Streaming music services have saved the music industry, delivering consumers better experiences and better value, and growing revenue for creators. By providing greater transparency and a blanket license, which are critical to a modern efficient licensing system, the Music Modernization Act will ensure fans and artists can take full advantage of streaming to create, discover and enjoy music and that we continue streaming forward into the future. As the Senate considers the MMA, we look forward to working with Senators Hatch (R-UT), Whitehouse (D-RI), Alexander (R-TN) and Coons (D-DE) to make sure it successfully passes the Senate and gets signed into law,” said Chris Harrison, CEO of the Digital Media Association, which represents Amazon, Apple, Google, Microsoft, Napster, Pandora and Spotify.

“We are an important step closer to the adoption of this landmark copyright reform legislation. I’ve seen too many of my colleagues give up writing songs professionally because of unfairly low streaming royalties and other changes in the era of digital music delivery. The MMA gives us tools to move toward better compensation from streaming companies, while giving songwriters and music publishers control of digital mechanical music licensing,” said Steve Bogard, President of Nashville Songwriters Association International.

“With this unequivocal vote, we are one step closer to a once-in-a-generation reform of our music licensing laws. It’s a long time coming and we have much work to do, but the breadth and depth of unprecedented legislative support demonstrated over the last two weeks is illustrative. It is the result of a broken system that poorly serves creators and years of painstaking consensus-building by many key members of Congress. This bill has advanced as far it has because its component parts reflect reforms of the entire music ecosystem. That is an essential ingredient. 

“Our focus and attention now turns to the Senate. We are fortunate that the major planks of the House-passed Music Modernization Act enjoy bipartisan support in the Senate, and we look forward to working with Senators and their staff as they consider and advance these key reforms,” said Cary Sherman, Chairman and CEO of the Recording Industry Association of America.

“We are excited that the Music Modernization Act was passed by the House today, as it brings us one step closer to finally achieving meaningful music licensing reform that will benefit America’s creative community. This vital legislation reflects an unprecedented collaboration among music creators and users, and we look forward to it moving to the Senate where we are optimistic it will be met with the same enthusiasm,” said Mike O’Neill, President and CEO of Broadcast Music, Inc.

 “Today’s passage of the Music Modernization Act by such a significant margin underscores the widespread consensus that our music licensing system needs immediate updating. After years of advocating for reform, we are thrilled that our country’s leaders are now paving the way for a brighter future for music creators who have struggled under outdated laws for far too long. We thank the House, especially our many congressional champions like Reps. Goodlatte, Nadler, Collins and Jeffries, for their hard work and recognition of music’s massive cultural and economic significance to our country. We urge the Senate to take up this industry-supported bill without delay,” said American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers CEO Elizabeth Matthews.

"We at SONA are inspired by and appreciative of the bipartisan efforts and support we witnessed on the House Floor today. On behalf of our community of songwriters and composers, SONA applauds the U.S. House of Representatives on the passage of this important legislation that will result in fairer compensation for all music creators,” said Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley, Executive Directors of Songwriters of North America. 

"Music creators compose the soundtrack to our lives. These creators deserve to be paid a fair wage for their work. The passage of the Music Modernization Act in the House of Representatives is a historic step forward for all music creators, ensuring that they are credited, paid and shown the respect they deserve for the impact they have on our culture and daily life. We are honored that the Recording Academy’s recent GRAMMYs on the Hill helped to pave the way for these long overdue updates," said Recording Academy™ President and CEO Neil Portnow.

"Today’s overwhelming vote in favor of the Music Modernization Act in the House marks a historic shift forward for the entire music ecosystem. This vote is an important step in bringing mechanical licensing out of the age of player pianos and into the digital era. It opens the door for innovation and better products for consumers from streaming platforms. The internet industry commends Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, Rep. Collins, Rep. Jeffries and House leadership for their work in passing this critical update," said Internet Association President and CEO Michael Beckerman.

"What an incredible victory for our singers, sound recording artists and songwriters. This is long overdue justice for our artists whose pre-1972 works have been enjoyed by millions on digital and satellite platforms without compensation to the creators. We thank the majority of Republicans and Democrats who voted to fix this injustice and to move the music industry forward. We thank House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler, Rep. Doug Collins, Rep. Hakeem Jeffries, Rep. Darrell Issa and all the other congressional leaders who helped to bring equity and respect to our most cherished creative voices. We look forward to working with the Senate to ensure all aspects of the MMA are once again overwhelmingly approved,” said David White, SAG-AFTRA National Executive Director.

In addition to a bipartisan majority in the House, support for the Music Modernization Act can be found here.

Collins' also spoke about the Music Modernization Act on the House floor today.