The music modernization act has been signed into law! It received unanimous support across the House and the Senate, as well as musicians and labels. The bill tries to revamp copyright law for the modern era, as there are so many music streaming services. The Music Modernization Act has three large pieces of legislation:
- Producers are specifically named in regards to their role in creating music, as well as improvements in royalty payments for satellite, online radio, and streaming.
- It streamlines the process to have a blanket license, and makes it easier for rights holders to get paid for their music when it is streamed.
- Works created before 1972 gain federal protection under copyright law, and will gain royalty payments. (These were previously covered under various state law)
So what does this all mean exactly?
- A consistent legal process will be used to receive unpaid royalty payments. The respective digital service provider previously held these unpaid royalties.
- A single mechanical licensing database, maintained by songwriters and publishers, will allow songwriters and publishers to be matched to their respective works, and thus be paid by streaming services.
- The Music Modernization Act will allow for works made before 1972 receive royalty payments and federal protection. Before 1972, state law governed if a work had certain protections and if one could gain payment to their work. For example, one case was taken to 3 different state courts arguing for payment regarding infringement to public performance rights.
Of course there is more to it than the three points above, but it is now the law for music publishers, producers, and songwriters. To those of you in the music business, I wish you all the best moving forward under this new law.
If you need any help, feel free to reach out to me.