Friday, June 29, 2018

Senate Panel Okays Music Modernization Act

The U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee has approved S. 2823, the Music Modernization Act (MMA), unanimously by voice vote. 

The bill was amended to include increased oversight and ensure greater transparency in the operation of the Mechanical Licensing Collective.  Amendments were accepted to promote communication between the Dept. of Justice and Congress regarding any future changes to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, as well as to educate copyright owners and songwriters as to the unclaimed royalties process that will be carried out by the new collective.

Senators voted unanimously in favor of the legislation, which now may be considered by the full Senate for passage. If passed by the full Senate, teh House of Representatives will need to accept the Senate version before sending to the President for signature.  The House previously passed its version of the MMA unanimously.

Gordon Smith
NAB President/CEO Gordon Smith said, "NAB strongly supports the Music Modernization Act, and applauds the efforts of Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein and Hatch, Whitehouse and their cosponsors on this bill.  this balanced legislation provides much-needed reforms to the music licensing market to the benefit of songwriters, legacy recording artists, producers, digital streaming services and music users.  In particular, NAB applauds the inclusion of language in today's managers' amendment that ensures enhanced congressional oversight of the DOJ's announced review of the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees. 

"The framework provided by these decrees is essential to a functioning music marketplace and they were comprehensively reviewed just two years ago with the DOJ concluding that their continued existence is squarely in the public interest. Any action to terminate these decrees must be preceded by Congressional action to ensure that songwriters, licensees, and consumers will not be harmed. NAB looks forward to working with all Senators as the Music Modernization Act moves forward and urges its swift passage.”

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