The House bill passed unanimously in April and the nearly identical Senate bill was introduced in May, but met opposition (or at least complications) from SESAC and SiriusXM — dozens of artists and executives, including Paul McCartney, Don Henley and Katy Perry, on Monday issued a letter criticizing SiriusXM’s objections to portions of the bill.
With those and other execptions, the industry overwhelmingly supported the bill Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT) called “crucially important” earlier this year, stating, “our music licensing laws are convoluted, out-of-date, and don’t reward songwriters fairly for their work. They’ve also failed to keep up with recent, rapid changes in how Americans purchase and listen to music.”
As in the House, the Senate bill combines three separate pieces of legislation:
– The Music Modernization Act of 2018, S.2334, introduced by Hatch and Senator Lamar Alexander (R-TN) in January, which updates licensing and royalties as pertains to streaming.
– The CLASSICS Act (or Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society Act), introduced in February by Chris Coons (D-DE) and John Kennedy (R-LA) to ensure that songwriters and artists receive royalties on pre-1972 songs.
– The AMP Act (or Allocation for Music Producers Act), introduced in March by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley(R-LA) and ranking committee member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA.) with the support of and Senators Bob Corker (R-TN) and Kamala Harris (D-CA).
National Music Publishers Association president/CEO David Israelite said: “Today is a momentous day for songwriters, artists, composers, producers, engineers and the entire industry that revolves around them. The Senate vote marks a true step forward towards fairness for the people at the heart of music who have long been undervalued due to outdated laws. This was a long and complex process but ultimately the music industry has come out stronger and more united than ever. We commend Senators Orrin Hatch, Lamar Alexander, Chuck Grassley and Senate Leadership for swiftly moving this bill to the floor. Now we anxiously await the House’s final approval of the MMA and seeing it signed into law.”
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