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Reps. Bob Goodlatte and Jerrold Nadler
House Judiciary Committee Approves Music Modernization Act
Bill with unprecedented support that would revolutionize the music industry moves closer to becoming law, ensuring fair pay for music creators
The Recording Academy has been trumpeting the Music Modernization Act a lot lately, and for good reason. Since rumors broke on the comprehensive bill in January, which garnered historic support from the far reaches of the music industry, the Academy has remained optimistic and enthusiastic that the MMA would pass Congress this year. Now, that dream is one step closer to becoming a reality.
On April 10 House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.), Ranking Member Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) and 29 additional members of the House of Representatives introduced the MMA. Today, the bill, H.R. 5447, went to the House Judiciary Committee for markup, where it passed unanimously with a vote of 32–0 following review.
From here, the MMA will proceed to the full House for a vote in the near future, and then attention turns to the Senate who will be tasked with considering similar, comprehensive reforms. A Senate Judiciary hearing and markup on music licensing reform is anticipated in the next few months.
The MMA marks a historic step forward for music legislation, which hasn't been updated in a generation. The comprehensive package combines three previous bills, including a songwriter-focused Music Modernization Act (H.R. 4706), which establishes an independent board to handle mechanical royalties while offering digital music services a "safe harbor" from copyright infringement lawsuits.
It also includes the CLASSICS Act (H.R. 3301), which requires digital services to pay for songs recorded prior to 1972, and the Allocation for Music Producers Act (H.R. 881), which codifies into law the way that producers and engineers get paid royalties for their work on sound recordings.
The current version of the MMA has also adopted a feature of the Fair Play Fair Pay Act (H.R. 1836) to update how the Copyright Royalty Board determines the rate digital services pay for recordings.
The Music Modernization Act is the first major update to our music licensing laws in decades. Will help ensure American music creators are properly recognized and rewarded for their works, and is vital to promoting American creativity and innovation in the digital age.— Bob Goodlatte (@RepGoodlatte) April 10, 2018
"This legislation, which is the first major update to our music licensing laws in decades, brings early 20th century music laws for the analog era into the 21st Century digital era," said Goodlatte.
"I look forward to working with [Chairman Goodlatte], and all those who made this bill a reality, to see that it is enacted into law," added Nadler.
"We are thrilled to celebrate the introduction of the Music Modernization Act," Neil Portnow, President and CEO of the Recording Academy told Billboard. "This historic bill has been a goal of the Recording Academy for several years as it unites the music community under one piece of legislation and provides meaningful updates to copyright law to help all music creators.
"This collaboration is the kind of work that changes the game for the music industry. Congress is recognizing the impact and cultural significance of work before 1972, while paving the way for the next generation of music creators."
GRAMMYs On The Hill Honorees Named
Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's
Quincy Jones, Sen. Ted Kennedy and Rep. Marsha Blackburn to be saluted
Legendary artist and producer Quincy Jones — 27-time GRAMMY winner and The Recording Academy's ambassador for its 50th Celebration — will headline a day of music advocacy as part of The Academy's GRAMMYs on The Hill activities in the nation's capital on Sept. 5, it was announced today by The Recording Academy.
Events will include a unique afternoon jam session with GRAMMY-winning artist Keb' Mo' and members of Congress. Later that evening at an awards gala, Jones will be honored for his lifelong contributions to American music, and honorees Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) will be recognized for their legislative support of the arts and music creators.
Among the luminaries joining Keb' Mo' to salute the honorees will be four-time GRAMMY winner and Recording Academy Chair Jimmy Jam, Academy President Neil Portnow, nine-time GRAMMY winner Ray Benson (of Asleep At The Wheel), "Godfather of Go-Go" Chuck Brown, GRAMMY-winning songwriter Brett James ("Jesus Take The Wheel"), country superstar John Rich (of Big & Rich), four-time GRAMMY winner BeBe Winans and seven-time GRAMMY winner CeCe Winans.
"GRAMMYs on the Hill connects top music makers — from singers and songwriters to producers and engineers — with members of Congress in Washington to shed light on the effect music has in enriching our lives," said Portnow. "This year, as part of our 50th Celebration activities, we will highlight the importance of music preservation and education so that it continues to thrive in our culture for years to come."
Throughout the day, more than 120 music professionals from across the country will come to Washington to speak to legislators about promoting policies that improve the environment for music and its makers. Earlier in the day on Capitol Hill, the GRAMMY Foundation will showcase its programs with a special performance by Keb' Mo', who will jam with members of the Recording Arts and Sciences Congressional Caucus (the "Congressional GRAMMY Band" — a group of musician members of Congress who have informally jammed at previous Academy advocacy events) in the Cannon House Office Building Caucus Room on Capitol Hill.
That evening, GRAMMYs on the Hill will move to the ballroom of the Willard Inter-Continental Hotel for its 7th annual gala dinner where The Recording Academy will honor Jones, Sen. Kennedy and Rep. Blackburn. Chesnee High School of South Carolina will receive the GRAMMY Foundation's Signature School Award and Scholarship for its outstanding commitment to music education.
The Recording Academy Reveals Leadership Council For Newly Launched Black Music Collective
The distinguished leadership committee will work with honorary chairs to elevate Black music creators and professionals
The Recording Academy's newly launched Black Music Collective (BMC), a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Academy and the wider music community, has announced a distinguished leadership council. The leadership committee is dedicated to progressing the Recording Academy's mission to achieve equitable representation across its membership and the music industry.
The collective will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music alongside an inspiring group of groundbreaking Black music creators and business leaders. Leadership has already begun creating and identifying programming that will encourage the acceleration of Black membership within the Academy.
Members of the leadership council will join Honorary Chairs Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend and Sylvia Rhone to work hand in hand to elevate the mission of the collective. Recording Academy Trustee Riggs Morales serves as the BMC Chair and Washington, D.C., Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson is the Executive Sponsor.
The Black Music Collective's Distinguished Leadership Committee includes the following accomplished music professionals:
- Yolanda Adams, Artist
- Brianna Agyemang, Executive
- Derek "MixedByAli" Ali, Engineer
- Tunde Balogun, Executive
- Tuma Basa, Executive
- Aloe Blacc, Artist
- Boi-1da, Producer
- Catherine Brewton, Executive
- Terri Lyne Carrington, Musician
- D-Nice, Artist
- Phylicia Fant, Executive
- H.E.R., Artist
- Om'Mas Keith, Producer
- Rico Love, Songwriter
- Heather Lowery, Executive
- Riggs Morales, Executive and BMC Chair
- Steve Pamon, Executive
- Tayla Parx, Songwriter
- Ryan Press, Executive
- Rashid Shabazz, Executive
- Jamila Thomas, Executive
- Dion "No-I.D." Wilson, Producer
"Our time is now and I'm so excited to add my voice in whatever way I can to honor those who came before me, those who worked building the foundation in this important work in music," H.E.R. said. "Initiatives like this help give a voice to young and emerging artists who dream of an even bigger future. We're all in this together."
"This is a new era of change for the Recording Academy and we are honored to have these leading artists, executives, producers and engineers who are all at the top of their fields join us for such an important moment in our world, our nation and our industry," Harvey Mason jr., chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "Black music is part of the fabric of our industry and it is so reassuring to stand with these leaders to create momentum, bring change and amplify Black voices."
"We're energized by our partnership with such an esteemed group of Black music leaders who share our mission to foster and accelerate Black representation, equity and inclusion throughout the music industry," Valeisha Butterfield Jones, chief diversity & inclusion officer of the Recording Academy, said. "We've doubled down on our partnership with these leaders and are committed to the work ahead."
Stay up to date on the BMC's progress here.
Neil Portnow's 49th GRAMMYs Telecast Remarks
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