The Music Modernization Act is co-sponsored by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch and Representative Bob Goodlatte, and it is a response to the contemporary music world of streaming and satellite radio. These are platforms that did not exist when laws were made decades ago for royalty payments to music creators and license holders.
It received unanimous approval in both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate, and the bill was subsequently signed into law by President Trump in a White House ceremony that was attended by such diverse artists as Kanye West, Kid Rock, “Soul Man” Sam Moore, country singers John Rich and Craig Morgan, as well as Mike Love, the founding member of The Beach Boys.
Music publishers, musicians, and songwriters have regarded the Music Modernization Act as a historic achievement, especially in an industry that has shortchanged artists and songwriters.
Neil Portnow, the president of The Recording Academy, remarked in a statement that he applauds all those who rallied for music creators to be fairly compensated for their work when it is used by digital and satellite music services.
According to The Tennessean, The Music Modernization Act has three main principles. First and foremost, it has created a new organization, run by publishers and songwriters, that oversees the digital mechanical licensing of a song. It will be in charge of paying music creators their royalties when their songs are played on such streaming services as Spotify, iTunes, and Amazon, among others.
Second, the new law creates a new standard for setting digital royalty rates for songwriters and publishers, and finally, The Music Modernization Act closes the gap that once allowed digital radio companies to stiff artists and labels for compensation on songs that were recorded prior to 1972.
This legislation has been extolled by musicians. In his interview with Digital Journal, earlier today, country star Jerrod Niemann shared his insights on this new legislation.