Music Modernization Act

Signed into Law 10/11/18!

Since 2014, the Recording Academy has championed comprehensive music licensing reform—a call echoed by an array of industry stakeholders and music creators. Congress listened, and in September 2018 unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act. The bill became law on October 11, 2018.

The Music Modernization Act, the biggest update to music legislation in the past 40 years, impacts hundreds of thousands of music creators nationwide, and future generations. The Act unites provisions from across the music community under one legislative umbrella to ensure advancement and protections for all music creators.

"It is an honor to congratulate all of the tireless activists and artists of the Recording Academy on the passage of the Music Modernization Act."

— Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi

The Music Modernization Act accomplishes the following:

For Songwriters

  • Creates a new and transparent collection entity to ensure that songwriters always get paid for mechanical licenses when digital services use their work

  • Lets ASCAP and BMI secure fair rates for their songwriters

  • Establishes fair compensation for songwriters when the government sets rates

For Artists

  • Closes the "pre-1972 loophole" so that digital services will pay legacy artists the compensation they deserve

  • Establishes fair compensation for artists when the government sets rates

For Studio Professionals

  • Gives copyright protection to producers and engineers for the first time in history

For Fans

  • Provides fans with more access to music across digital music services due to better music data sharing

Timeline of the passage of the Music Modernization Act

What's Next for the Music Modernization Act

On July 5, 2019, the Copyright Office selected the Music Licensing Collective (MLC) as the new entity tasked with licensing and administering rights under the Music Modernization Act. The Recording Academy provided comments to ensure important considerations were taking into effect with this selection.

The MLC is slated to fully launch in January 2021. However, the selection allows the MLC to begin operations.

What’s next? The MLC must come to a funding agreement with the digital streaming services that are funding the operation of the MLC.

Support Music and Its Creators

The Recording Academy first called for this comprehensive update to music legislation in 2014 during GRAMMYs on the Hill, with Neil Portnow testifying before Congress(opens in a new tab) shortly after, encouraging its introduction. Since then, the Academy has been tirelessly advocating for its support. On April 18–19, 2018, as a part of the Academy's GRAMMYs on the Hill Advocacy Day, more than 100 GRAMMY winners, nominees, and Academy leaders met with nearly 60 Senate and House offices, including key congressional leadership, to advocate for the bill.



Recent Victories for the Music Modernization Act