SESAC, NMPA, NSAI, And SONA Announce Unconditional Support for Music Modernization Act

The National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), and SESAC today announced they have agreed to work together to support the Music Modernization Act (MMA). The broad coalition demonstrates an unprecedented commitment by the industry to support songwriters and music publishers, who will benefit from the bill’s ultimate passage, resulting in the most comprehensive reform to the music copyright business in generations.

The bill creates a single mechanical licensing entity which will establish an open, transparent copyright ownership database that will be overseen by music publishers and songwriters and paid for by digital services.

At the encouragement of Senators deeply involved in the legislation and recognizing the importance of the MMA for the future of the music industry, the parties have endorsed a provision under consideration by the Senate to amend the Mechanical Licensing Collective’s (MLC) administration of voluntary licenses outside the scope of the Section 115 compulsory license in order to ensure private vendors can continue to participate in the music market, maintaining competition which is beneficial to songwriters and producers.

All parties have enthusiastically agreed and respectfully request the Senate pass the MMA.

NMPA President & CEO David Israelite: “We are thrilled that we have mutually agreed on a path forward. We are stronger when our music family speaks with one voice and this agreement will allow us to come together to work towards the passage of the MMA. Songwriters need and deserve this bill. We thank the Senators involved for their leadership and guidance.”

SESAC Chairman & CEO John Josephson: “SESAC has been fighting for songwriters since 1931 and continues to do so with its enthusiastic support of the MMA. At the encouragement of Senators closely involved in this legislation, all parties came together to agree on outstanding items related to the MMA including the reform of the Section 115 compulsory license and other important related matters. We share a collective responsibility to help ensure that the MMA benefits all stakeholders in the industry and look forward to the Senate’s consideration of the bill.”

NSAI: “Reaching consensus within the music industry, on what may be the most important songwriter legislation in history, is a win for American songwriters and the broader music community. We are pleased to have put our differences behind us and support this bill in unanimous harmony. The Nashville Songwriters Association International has been a friend and fan of SESAC’s for decades and that is how our relationship will immediately resume.”

Songwriters of North America Executive Directors Michelle Lewis and Kay Hanley: “We are pleased to have come together with our partners SESAC, the NMPA, SONA and NSAI to move forward as a unified music community to support the successful passage and implementation of the much-needed Music Modernization Act. SONA would personally like to thank our partners, the NSAI and songwriter Ross Golan for their efforts and support in mobilizing the songwriter and artist community nationwide.”

The Recording Academy President/CEO Neil Portnow noted of the development, “Music industry unity got the Music Modernization Act through the House and it will take that unity to get it through the Senate. The Academy is gratified that the music industry worked through its differences and can work together to pass MMA into law.”

ASCAP Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Matthews offered the following statement: “After working so hard for so long to update our music licensing laws, we must keep working together to keep the Music Modernization Act moving forward. All parties have had to give and take in order to achieve this consensus legislation that has so far seen widespread, bipartisan support and would help update music licensing laws to improve the future for music creators. We hope the Senate will pass it without delay.”

AIMP also released the following statement: “The AIMP applauds the NMPA and SESAC for coming to the table to move past their issues and confirming their unconditional support of the MMA. We hope that this clears the way for all Senators to embrace the MMA and move this forward.”

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About the Author

Jessica Nicholson serves as the Managing Editor for MusicRow magazine. Her previous music journalism experience includes work with Country Weekly magazine and Contemporary Christian Music (CCM) magazine. She holds a BBA degree in Music Business and Marketing from Belmont University. She welcomes your feedback at [email protected]

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