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ICYMI – Artists, Lawmakers Opine on the Need for Music Licensing Overhaul

07 June 2018

Over the past two weeks, legendary singers and leading lawmakers have penned op-eds on the need for the comprehensive music licensing reform package inclusive of the CLASSICS Act – a provision of the Music Modernization Act (MMA) that unanimously passed in the House of Representatives and now lies before the Senate (S. 2823). Following Smokey Robinson’s testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee in May, mark-up of the bill is around the corner and with that music creators and policymakers alike are vocalizing their support.

On Monday, FOX News published a piece by House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte and Rep. Doug Collins. In it the lawmakers lay out the framework for how the bill will rewrite copyright law for the modern age of music.

Adding to the drumbeat, Mary Wilson of The Supremes wrote about the importance of CLASSICS as a part of the MMA in The Mercury News, and Rosanne Cash expressed her support in the Austin American-Statesman. In each article the artists shared how outdated copyright law has impeded many legendary artists from fair compensation for their work. Each story is a reminder that updating our copyright laws in the age of digital music is imperative.

With mark-up of the bill around the corner, this bill’s ability to bring together folks of all different political backgrounds and musical genres has never been more evident. Read what they have to say about the bill and its impact below.

  • “If music creators and providers are compensated fairly for their work, music lovers will be the ultimate beneficiaries, because more high-quality music will be created… As the Senate prepares to consider music copyright legislation this month, we are on the verge of a historic victory for American music creators, music distributors, and the public – one that will help sustain the American music industry as it advances into the future.” – Rep. Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) & Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA)


  • “My music career has been a source of tremendous pride and enjoyment. It never really felt like a job. I’m one of the lucky ones. People still buy tickets to see me perform. However, many music creators who made music before 1972 aren’t so blessed. Many pre-1972 music creators, or their estates for those that have passed on, survive on fixed incomes and are being shut out of a core American value of being paid for one’s work.” – Mary Wilson of The Supremes


  • “For many older greats, the CLASSICS Act is also a lifeline: the difference between touring until they simply can’t go on and being able to get off the road with dignity and basic economic security. And finally, it’s a question of respect — and not just Aretha’s song for which she surely deserves to be paid — respect for our musical roots and the long lines of influence and inspiration that flows back through time and melody to the greats who have inspired us all.” – Roseanne Cash



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