Artists and musicians, gather ’round.
The long awaited Music Modernization Act is here. Formerly a combination of four separate initiatives, this new act will create a revolutionary change in the way that artists are paid and royalties are set.
There are three specific parts of the bill. First, it will include a new technology (similar to SoundExchange) that will track when an artists music is being used. This new service will then distribute royalties to the rights holders. Secondly, the act will provide royalties to musicians whenever a copy of their work is being made (digitally or physically). Thirdly, the bill will be changing the court system. Now, a single judge will handle all court cases involving ASCAP and BMI.
The Music Modernization Ac is a huge improvement from a pre-1972 loophole that hindered compensation for artists. Additionally, the new bill provides copyright royalties for producers. The new act also is a friend to music streaming services, for all copyright infringement lawsuits filed after January 1, 2018 will be dropped.
In simpler terms, the Music Modernization Act will help artists get paid fairly and timely, thanks to the new tracking service. There will also be a new database that will help musicians identify songs that they haven’t been given credit for.
Almost the entire music industry is in favor of this new bill, which was long overdue.
In an interview with Variety, ASCAP CEO Elizabeth Matthews said, “Today’s reintroduction of the Music Modernization Act signals we are one step closer to reforming our outdated music licensing system and providing songwriters a better future. We thank Chairman Goodlatte, Ranking Member Nadler and Reps. Collins and Jeffries for their leadership and keeping America’s songwriters a priority.”