The Music Modernization Act, now renamed the Orrin G. Gatch Music Modernization Act, unanimously passed the Senate earlier this week. Senator Lamar Alexander said on the floor of Congress, “It is the most important piece of legislation in a generation to help make sure songwriters in our country are paid and are paid a fair market value for their work.” The bill is designed to fix issues within the music industry especially issues surrounding licensing of music and streaming. This legislation will allow companies like Spotify or Apple Music to work with labels and artists to make sure everyone is getting fair compensation for music.
The Act will establish a new organization called the Mechanical Licensing Collective that will create a database with all information relevant to songwriters work which streaming companies will use to give artists the money they deserve. It will also change the current way royalty rates are settled. Currently, cases are argued in front of a three judges from the Copyright Royalty Board but soon performance rights organizations will be able to argue cases for a rotating panel of judges in the Southern District of New York.
Next the amended version of this act will need to pass the House. If it makes it through, it will go to the President to be signed into law.