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H.R.5447 - Music Modernization Act

To modernize copyright law, and for other purposes.



You might favor this bill if:
► You believe the current copyright system needs to be modernized by creating a licensing system which quickly licenses and pays for musical copyrights. The copyright standards need to be standardized while moving the costs from the owners to the licensees.

You might oppose this bill if:
► You believe the current copyright law works and should not be changed. There is no need in setting uniform rate standards for royalties.

Watch Rep.Goodlatte defend the bill

The Music Modernization Act updates several key provisions of U.S. copyright law regarding music licensing and identifies important reforms to help ensure the Copyright Office keeps pace in the digital age.

According to Rep. Goodlatte’s press release of the legislation, the Music Modernization Act would specifically:
- direct how modern digital music services operate by creating a blanket licensing system to quickly license and pay for musical work copyrights;
- Discourage music litigation in favor of ensuring that artists and copyright owners are paid in the first place without such litigation;
- end the flawed U.S. Copyright Office bulk notice of intent system that allows royalties to not be paid;
- implement uniform rate setting standards to be used by the Copyright Royalty Board for all music services;
- shift the costs of the new licensing collective created by the bill to those who benefit from the collective - the licensees;
- update how certain rate court cases are assigned in the Southern District of New York;
- provide that performers who recorded songs before 1972 can finally be paid for their works (currently, only performers who recorded songs after 1972 are paid for their works); and
- ensure that record producers, sound engineers, and other creative professionals receive compensation for their work.

The judiciary committee has welcomed numerous policy proposals and comments from several music publisher and music institutions such as ASCAP, BMI, iHeartMedia, Microsoft, Nashville Songwriters Association International, Pandora, The Recording Academy, and SESAC, among others.

In an unprecedented move, the House approved the measure and the legislation has move to the Senate. “Music, along with the other copyright industries, has enriched our lives and expanded our cultural opportunities. Today the House took a historic step toward ensuring the music industry can continue to flourish by modernizing our music copyright laws so music creators are fairly compensated for their works. The Music Modernization Act, which is the first major update to our music licensing laws in decades, finally brings our music laws into the digital age,” said sponsor of the bill Rep. Bob Goodlatte. “Music is no longer written on piano rolls, are laws shouldn’t be based on that technology any longer.”

Daryl Friedman from The Recording Academy (The Grammy’s), said in a letter to the Rep. Goodlatte and the Judiciary Committee regarding the legislation, “meaningful copyright reform cannot be achieved without addressing the critical issues that have long hampered the music community. The Academy and its diverse membership of individual creators stand ready to assist [the committee] in this process.”

“It is only through a strong copyright system that respects and protects the rights of creators that our nation has become a leader in the fields of music, entertainment and media,” wrote the American Society of Composers, Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) and the Broadcasting Music Inc. (BMI), two major music publishing companies. “However, a copyright system can only be as strong as its supporting and managing foundation. For that reason, it is critical that the U.S. Copyright Office and the office of the Register be modernized in order to be afforded the independence, budget and operability necessary to ensure that they, and our country’s copyright system by extension, can meet the needs of creators in the 21st century.”

H.R.5447

Sponsored by: Rep. Goodlatte, Bob [R-VA-6].

Cosponsored by: 23 Rep / 26 Dem.

See list of cosponsors.


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