The Recording Academy has championed comprehensive music licensing reform since 2014. In September 2018 Congress listened, and unanimously passed the Music Modernization Act.
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:
- 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
- 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
- Provides fans with more access to music across digital music services due to better music data sharing
Timeline of the pasage 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.
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What Members of the Recording Academy Are Saying
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 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
- Copyright Office Names Mechanical Licensing Collective
- The Recording Academy Celebrates the Senate Passage of the Music Modernization Act
- Why September Matters For The Music Modernization Act
- Maren Morris, Adam Levine Join Groundswell of Support for Music Modernization Act
- Senate Judiciary Committee Unanimously Passes Music Modernization Act
- Smokey Robinson and Justin Roberts Testify in Support of the Music Modernization Act
- Comprehensive Music Modernization Act Introduced into the Senate
- Music Modernization Act Unanimously Passes the House of Representatives
- House Judiciary Committee Approves Music Modernization Act
- On the Heels of GRAMMY Week, the Music Modernization Act Is Introduced in the House of Representatives