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Raising Their Voices in Support

01 June 2018

60 gospel artists are the latest group of music creators raising their collective voice in support of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) and calling on the U.S. Senate to pass this comprehensive legislation to update America’s music laws.

The MMA, a comprehensive music licensing reform package, has diverse support across every facet of the music industry – artists, songwriters, music creators, independent and major music labels, music publishers, performing rights organizations, and many of the technology companies that play their music.

And this legislation is also popular within the many genres of music: country, hip hop, R&B, pop and more. And now 60 gospel artists have signed their name to an ad calling on the Senate to pass the bill. See for yourself – check out the ad that The Christian Music Trade Association, Content Creators Coalition and Gospel Music Association ran in Roll Call here.

Why the popularity?

Diverse and often competing interests within the music industry, as well as often opposite genres of music – like gospel and rock – recognize that all music is a descendant of works by legendary music creators.

You can’t have the beats of hip hop without the musical styling of legacy rhythm & blues. You can’t have the ballads of country without the rhythm of blues music.

It’s all connected. Which is why artists of all backgrounds are standing together to recognize this injustice. The rise of satellite radio and digital streaming has generated new airplay for classic music made before February 15, 1972, but oftentimes these artists and their labels are not paid by the companies that play their music. These music creators should not be forced to conduct expensive and lengthy legal battles to claim the royalties from media giants that are rightfully theirs.

The Music Modernization Act would also create a new music licensing organization, run by publishers and songwriters, that would be in charge of identifying a composition’s copyright owners and paying them the royalties they are due. It would further create a new standard to determine the fair royalty rate songwriters should be paid. Altogether, these changes bring music licensing laws into the 21stcentury.

And a compelling sign of unified support? The MMA gained bipartisan approval from the contentious House Judiciary Committee and the full House or Representatives, where the bill passed unanimously 415-0 in April.

Diversity is the lifeblood of this landmark legislation – garnering supporters of all kinds from all walks of life. The Senate must now recognize that this kind of support is rare, especially among those with competing interests, and should join the House in passing the MMA to make America’s music laws more logical and fair.

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