Photo: Sean Zanni/WireImage.com
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."
The Recording Academy Announces 3rd Annual "Behind The Record" Initiative To Continue To #GiveCredit To Creators In Music
This year, the Recording Academy's "Behind The Record" initiative, a global social media activation aimed at spotlighting the many creators in music, introduces Behind The Record Advocacy, a new virtual program to discus creators' needs with Congress
The Recording Academy has announced that it will continue giving credit where credit is due with its 3rd annual "Behind The Record" initiative, a global social media activation aimed at spotlighting the many producers, engineers, songwriters, composers, mixers, instrumentalists, and other creators who contribute to the music recording process. Taking place Friday, Oct. 15, the industry-wide conversation encourages artists across all music genres to celebrate their collaborators' incredible behind-the-scenes work on the tracks, records and albums loved by music fans around the world. This year's campaign features a short film, narrated by Recording Academy Board of Trustees Secretary/Treasurer Om'Mas Keith, illustrating that behind every hit song is an intricate dance of creativity that builds and builds to the final product.
A day before the social media activation's launch, on Thursday, Oct. 14, the Recording Academy will introduce Behind The Record Advocacy, a new virtual advocacy program to inform lawmakers about issues affecting the creators behind their favorite records. Building off the success of the Recording Academy's "Behind The Record" initiative, Academy members will meet virtually with members of Congress nationwide to discuss legislation that would have a direct impact on America's recording artists, songwriters and studio professionals, such as the HITS Act and the American Music Fairness Act. With nearly 200 meetings with congressional offices anticipated for Behind The Record Advocacy, members will focus on ensuring that the individuals behind the record are able to earn fair compensation for their work.
"It takes a village to create a recording, and as an organization that serves to support all music creators, we invite our peers to join us in spotlighting the many music professionals behind our favorite songs," Harvey Mason jr., CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "While we celebrate the music professionals behind the scenes, we also recognize the importance of fighting for fair treatment of creators. We're proud of the evolution of 'Behind The Record' to include an advocacy element this year as we continue our ongoing work to ensure all music creators flourish."
"Behind The Record" is supported by the Recording Academy's Advocacy Department, Producers & Engineers Wing and Songwriters & Composers Wing. Supporting all music creators—including the artists behind our favorite records—is an urgent initiative for the Recording Academy year-round. Within the past year alone, the Recording Academy established the Songwriters & Composers Wing to better represent the diverse community of music creators who provide the world with the gift of song. The Academy also reintroduced the HITS Act in the House and Senate, which would allow artists and record producers to deduct 100 percent of sound recording production expenses in the year they are incurred, and continued efforts to support women producers and engineers through its Women In The Mix initiative.
To help the Recording Academy further support creators working behind the scenes, artists can participate in "Behind The Record" by:
- Emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request an access code to the Credit Cover Generator Portal.
- Posting your Credit Cover across social media channels and tagging those who worked on your project. Use hashtags #BehindTheRecord #GiveCredit #WeAreMusic.
- Artists can create Credit Covers for a single track or album, and covers will live in a gallery on the "Behind The Record" website for music fans to view and discover the roles of creatives behind some of their favorite records.
For the third year, Jaxsta, the world's largest public-facing dedicated database of official music credits, provided credits for Warner Music, Sony Music, Universal Music Group, and Merlin releases.
For more information, please visit the "Behind The Record" website. Follow and join the global conversation on social media using the hashtags #BehindTheRecord, #GiveCredit and #WeAreMusic.
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.
Diversity, Equity & Inclusion: Watch The Recording Academy's Inspiring "Change Music" Summit In Full
Alongside Color Of Change, The Recording Academy hosted the virtual industrywide #ChangeMusic Summit, which welcomed leaders in music and media for panels on shifting culture, amplifying diverse voices, driving systemic change and more
On Thursday (Oct. 1), the Recording Academy joined Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization, to host a virtual industrywide #ChangeMusic Summit with leaders in music and media. The digital event is part of an ongoing series of initiatives facilitated by the Recording Academy to help accelerate equity and diverse representation within the organization and to further support inclusion outcomes across the wider music industry.
Watch the #ChangeMusic Summit in full below.
The four-hour event brought together leaders, executives and experts for panels on shifting culture, amplifying diverse voices, putting leadership in action and driving systemic change throughout the music community. As well, prominent culture trailblazers and music business leaders openly discussed best practices and strategies to encourage systemic change and elevate women, Black and Latinx, as well as all underrepresented music creators and professionals.
Some of the event's participants included singer-songwriters Ledisi and Maimouna "Mumu Fresh" Youssef; television personalities Rocsi Diaz and Jeff Johnson; music culture influencer Karen Civil; award-winning poet and president of the Recording Academy's Chicago Chapter J. Ivy; and prominent executives and industry professionals including Tuma Basa (YouTube), Ingrid Best (Combs Enterprises), Binta Brown (omalilly projects; Black Music Action Coalition), Shari Bryant (Roc Nation), Jeff Burroughs (Def Jam Recordings), Ryan Butler (Recording Academy), Valeisha Butterfield Jones (Recording Academy), Harvey Mason jr. (Recording Academy), Rashad Robinson (Color Of Change) and many others. See the full list of participants below.
As part of the summit, the Recording Academy and Color Of Change announced the forthcoming #ChangeMusic Roadmap, a tool to help people at all levels of the music industry take action to enact racial and social justice within the industry. The full roadmap will be released before the end of the year, however, the first aspect of the roadmap discussed was a needed commitment to transparent reporting on Black representation.
"This is a crucial moment in our world, our nation and our society and it is now more important than ever that we bring people together to make progress on justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion," Recording Academy Chair and Interim President/CEO Harvey Mason jr. said. "As leaders in the music industry, we have an opportunity as role models to lead by example and set a progressive tone for culture and society. We are honored that so many from the industry joined this important conversation and we're committed to the work ahead."
"Black artists' rich contributions have undeniably shaped the music industry into what it is today. The industry must tear down the systems that silence, harm and pigeonhole Black artists for profitable gains," President of Color Of Change Rashad Robinson said. "Everyone has the responsibility to work towards progress. The #ChangeMusic Roadmap will begin the process of giving the industry the tools to challenge injustice and enact tangible change now. The Recording Academy is setting a strong example for the industry from the inside, holding those in power accountable to change. Together, we can propel music into the equitable future Black artists have earned, and always deserved."
Participants in the #ChangeMusic Summit included: singer/songwriters Ledisi, Rico Love and Maimouna "Mumu Fresh" Youssef; television personalities Rocsi Diaz and Jeff Johnson; music culture influencer Karen Civil; poet J. Ivy; and prominent executives and industry professionals including Tuma Basa (YouTube), Ingrid Best (Combs Enterprises), Binta Brown (omalilly projects; Black Music Action Coalition), Shari Bryant (Roc Nation), Jeff Burroughs (Def Jam Recordings), Ryan Butler (Recording Academy), Valeisha Butterfield Jones (Recording Academy), Qiana Conley (Recording Academy), Caroline "Baroline" Diaz (Interscope Records), Michelle Edgar (Epic Records; Music Unites; XX Project), Ethiopia Habtemariam (Motown Records; Capitol Music Group), Erin Hall Harris (Combs Enterprises), Tammy Hurt (Recording Academy), Jeriel Johnson (Recording Academy), Debra Lee (formerly BET Networks), Harvey Mason jr. (Recording Academy), Adam McFarland (Blacksmith Recordings; #TheShowMustBePaused), Riggs Morales (Atlantic Records), Jessica Rivera (YouTube), Rashad Robinson (Color Of Change), Travis Robinson (Universal Music Group), Lenny Santiago (Roc Nation), Rashid Shabazz (Color Of Change), Dr. Maurice Stinnett (Warner Music Group), Tiffany R. Warren (Omnicom Group; ADCOLOR), and Roe Williams (KWL Enterprises).
The Recording Academy's strategic alliance with Color Of Change and solidarity with ongoing social justice movements, such as #TheShowMustBePaused, was also a highly prioritized conversation topic among attendees.
Learn more about the progress and future announcements regarding the Recording Academy's Diversity & Inclusion efforts.
Photo: Valerie Macon/AFP via Getty Images
The Recording Academy Establishes Black Music Collective
The newly launched collective comprises a group of prominent Black music creators and professionals who share the common goal of amplifying Black voices within the Recording Academy and the wider music community
The Recording Academy has today (Sept. 3) announced the creation of its 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.
As part of the Recording Academy's commitment to evolving hand-in-hand with its membership, BMC will serve as a space for members to speak openly about new and emerging opportunities in Black music across all genres and identify ways to drive more representation.
The launch of BMC follows the Recording Academy's recent partnership with Color Of Change, the nation's largest online racial justice organization, in July, which set forth to create a Black music advisory group. The BMC fulfills this promise and is bringing together creators and business leaders to create a pipeline of future industry trailblazers. Leaders will meet regularly and initiate programs that will encourage participation and accelerate Black membership in the Recording Academy.
Jeffrey Harleston, Jimmy Jam, Quincy Jones, Debra Lee, John Legend, and Sylvia Rhone will serve as honorary chairs of the BMC. A distinguished leadership committee will be confirmed in the coming weeks and will work in sync with the honorary chairs to propel the collective's mission. Recording Academy Trustee Riggs Morales and Washington, D.C., Chapter Executive Director Jeriel Johnson will lead the initiative internally.
"The Black Music Collective is necessary to help drive the Recording Academy into a new era. Creating an open space for Black music creators can only benefit our membership as a whole," Harvey Mason jr., Chair and Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy, said. "Through the past few months, I've been personally invested in propelling this collective along with Chapter leadership within the Academy. Together, we will elevate Black music creators within our organization and the industry at large."
"As Black music continues to drive culture, it is essential we grow and maintain representation within the Academy and the music industry," Valeisha Butterfield Jones, Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer of the Recording Academy, said. "We're thrilled to help develop the leaders of tomorrow with impactful educational and experiential programs that we will announce in coming weeks."
In March 2018, the Recording Academy established a third-party task force to examine issues of diversity and inclusion within the Academy and the broader music community. The Academy has since taken action on the Task Force's initial assessment and recommendations and has made additional strides to facilitate a culture of belonging while recognizing the need to focus on underrepresented communities. Recent initiatives include the hiring of a Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, a $1 million donation to Color Of Change, alignment with #TheShowMustBePaused movement created by Jamila Thomas (Atlantic Records) and Brianna Agyemang (Platoon), and the development of an industry Inclusion Rider and Toolkit to be released later this year.
Stay up to date on the Recording Academy's progress, future announcements and recent initiatives on diversity and inclusion.