After a long wait, the Music Modernisation Act has finally received the signature of US President Donald Trump on 11th October, 2018 which makes it the law of the land.
The reforming bill, supported by labels, musicians and politicians, was unanimously voted through both the US House of Representatives and the Senate, before President Trump signed it. The journey of the 185-page bill into an act was a rather long one starting from the first time it was introduced in the House in December 2017.
The landmark bill is a reformation of Section 115 of the US Copyright Act which will make it relevant in the streaming era. The bill proposed streamlining the music licensing process which will make it easier for copyright owners to receive compensation whenever their music is played online. In the wake of which, the mechanical licensing created by the Mechanical Licensing Collective (MLC) will offer a blanket license to digital streaming platforms that’ll aid in better payments to songwriters and copyright owners. The cost of creating and maintaining a database will be paid for by digital streaming services such Spotify, Apple Music and others.
Another notable part of the legislation is that all legacy artists pre-1972 will be paid for their work when their songs are played on satellite and digital radio. This move also includes payment for producers and engineers who have worked on these songs.
The third part of the bill focuses on royalty payouts for producers and engineers from SoundExchange when their recordings are used on satellite and online radio. For the first time in history, producers too have been included in the copyright law.
Keeping up with the technological advancement and updating archaic laws have become imperative than ever before. MMA, as believed by its creators, is the first step in that direction to revolutionise the music industry. Industry professionals rejoice this glorious moment where royalties will be great again.
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