House Passes Updated Music Copyright Bill

The House of Representatives April 25 approved the Music Modernization Act (H.R. 5447), legislation intended to update music copyright laws and remuneration to artists and creators in the digital age.

The bill, which was introduced to the House on April 10 House Judiciary Committee chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), would be the biggest update to music legislation in 40 years, if confirmed by the Senate, according to the Recording Academy.

To help gain passage of the bill, the Academy sent more than 100 Grammy winners, nominees and industry leaders to meet with lawmakers in the House and Senate April 18-19 as part of the Academy’s “Grammys on the Hill” grassroots initiative.

The Music Modernization Act unites provisions from four previously introduced bills — the Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, the Classics Act, the Fair Play Fair Pay Act, and a songwriter-specific version of the Music Modernization Act —under one legislative umbrella to ensure advancement and protections for all music creators.

The Recording Academy has been championing the need for music reform in the digital age as public consumption of recorded music moves from transactional to subscription streaming. The Academy first established a lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., 20 years ago, according to CEO Neil Portnow.

“Passage of the Music Modernization Act in the House is a historic step forward for all music creators, ensuring that they are credited, paid, and shown the respect they deserve for the impact they have on our culture and daily life,” Portnow said in a statement.

A hearing is expected to be scheduled in the Senate within the coming weeks.

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