On Thursday (June 28), the Senate Judiciary Committee unanimously voted to approve the Music Modernization Act, comprehensive legislation, including the CLASSICS Act, that updates music licensing laws for the modern streaming era.
The bill was amended to include increased oversight and ensure greater transparency in the operation of the Mechanical Licensing Collective. Additionally, amendments were accepted to promote communication between the Department of Justice and Congress regarding any future changes to the ASCAP and BMI consent decrees, as well as to educate copyright owners and songwriters as to the unclaimed royalties process that will be carried out by the new collective.
The Senate vote follows the unanimous approval by the House of Representatives of similar legislation, and paves the way for the legislation to be considered by the full Senate for passage. If passed by the full Senate, the House of Representatives will need to accept the Senate version before sending to the President for signature.
NMPA President & CEO David Israelite praised the vote saying, “Today’s vote is a huge step towards the Music Modernization Act becoming law. We are pleased that the MMA as approved by the Committee builds upon the fundamental compromise between music creators and digital services that will greatly benefit songwriters. With the many important stakeholders involved, it is no small feat for the MMA to have made it this far, and once the MMA is signed into law, songwriters will see more of the money they deserve from streaming services who currently operate off of laws from 1909 and consent decrees from 1941. We thank Chairman Grassley, Ranking Member Feinstein, Senator Hatch, Senator Whitehouse, Senator Alexander, and all of the Senators who have supported MMA for their leadership in helping those behind the music and their steadfast commitment to updating laws that are egregiously behind the times. We look forward to seeing the full Senate pass the MMA.”
“We are grateful that the Senate Judiciary Committee has taken the next vital step to advance the Music Modernization Act,” said the RIAA’s President Mitch Glazier. “Music speaks to all parties, all people, in all places. And when a community comes together as we have done, with no segment getting everything they want but recognizing injustice and working toward a common goal, anything is possible. We welcome the momentum surrounding this bill and thank Senators Grassley, Feinstein, Hatch, Coons, Kennedy and all of the cosponsors, for leading the charge in the Senate to right a long-standing wrong with the CLASSICS Act. We look forward to Senate passage of the entire MMA, and this crucial bill finally becoming law.”
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