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musicFIRST Applauds Introduction of Comprehensive Music Reform Legislation

10 April 2018

Bipartisan Bill in House Paves Way for Congress to Enact Most Sweeping Music Modernization in Two Decades

Washington, D.C. (April 10, 2018) – The musicFIRST Coalition today applauded the leadership and members of the House Judiciary Committee on the introduction of the Music Modernization Act [H.R. 5447] and urged the legislation’s swift passage by the Committee and the entire House of Representatives.

Introduced by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-NY), the Music Modernization Act combines music licensing reforms outlined in the CLASSICS Act, Songwriters Equity Act of 2015, the rate standard parity provisions of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and AMP Act into a single, consensus piece of legislation. The MMA addresses specific music legacy issues such as establishing federal copyright protection for artists who recorded before 1972, creating a single licensing entity to administer music publishing rights for all digital music and ensuring producers and engineers receive royalties for their contributions to the music they help create.

The consensus legislation introduced today in the House would not have been possible without the leadership from Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler, Rep. Doug Collins (R-GA), Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA), Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY) and other leaders from both parties who worked together to craft legislation that is broadly supported by the music industry, streaming services and music creators.

“America’s old music laws have failed to keep pace with today’s technology. They have also prevented artists from receiving fair market value, or in the case of pre-72 artists, federal copyright protection for their work,” said musicFIRST executive director Chris Israel. “Chairman Goodlatte and Ranking Member Nadler’s legislation will benefit music creators, services and fans while finally ensuring pre-1972 music creators are paid when their work is played on digital radio and SiriusXM.”

Though all the bills woven into the MMA are extremely important, the CLASSICS provisions will fix a long-standing injustice affecting legacy artists and are broadly supported in both the House and Senate. Prior to its inclusion in the MMA, the CLASSICS Act received bipartisan support from 26 of the House Judiciary Committee’s 40 members. Companion legislation (the CLASSICS Act [S.2393]) was recently introduced in the U.S. Senate by Sens. Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Kennedy (R-LA) and has since gained ten co-sponsors – four Republican and six Democrat.

“The momentum behind music legislation in both chambers of Congress indicates that 2018 will be the year that Congress implements once in a generation updates to our music laws,” said Israel. “musicFIRST urges the House Judiciary Committee to pass the MMA and send the measure to the full House of Representatives where it has the bipartisan support to pass.”



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