Copyright Music. Streaming.
It’s official, the Senate introduced a bill designed to improve compensation for creators of music. Copyright music gets greater protection. If passed, it will make it easier for music rights organizations, such as ASCAP, BMI, and SESAC to collect fees from companies that distribute streaming music. In a bipartisan effort, both Democratic and Republican senators were in board. The senate version was very similar to the house version.
The “Music Modernization Act,” as it’s called, “Would create a new, simplified licensing entity to make it easier for digital music companies to obtain a license for and play songs,” said Orrin Hatch. It would also guarantee that songwriters get their fair share of the royalties received from their music.
“Songwriters will finally get a market-based mechanical rate standard, which should result in more equitable royalties from interactive streaming companies,” said Steve Bogard, president of the Nashville Songwriters Association International.
The Music Modernization Act
The bill states, in part:
- Adopts a simple licensing system for digital music services making it easier for companies to obtain a license to play a song and reducing the likelihood of litigation.
- Ensures songwriters will be paid the fair market value for their songs by:
- Directing the Copyright Royalty Board to set compensation according to the fair market value when songs are sold, such as through music downloads, replacing the current below-market standard.
- Removing a provision of law that narrows the scope of evidence the federal rate court may examine when asked to set songwriter compensation for when their song is played, such as in a restaurant or at a concert.
This legislation is supported by a variety of music stakeholders, such as the National Music Publishers Association (NMPA), the Digital Media Association (DiMA), the American Society for Composers, Authors and Publishers, (ASCAP) the Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI), the Nashville Songwriters Association International (NSAI), the Songwriters of North America (SONA), the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), and the Recording Academy and the American Federation of Musicians.