WASHINGTON, D.C.—With strong bipartisan support, today the U.S. House passed H.R. 5447, The Music Modernization Act, sponsored by Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and cosponsored by House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.), which updates current music licensing and copyright law for the digital age. In a major win for for the artists, songwriters, and digital service providers who bring Americans the joy of music every day, this bill creates a blanket licensing system to streamline how digital providers obtain the rights to the music they offer, while ensuring fair compensation for the musicians and writers. The bill also updates existing law to extend digital streaming copyright protections to legacy artists that recorded their music prior to 1972.
“Songwriters and other entertainers deserve to be fairly paid for their works of art, and the Music Modernization Act will finally ensure that our laws reflect the changing marketplace so that these artists and the music industry as a whole can continue to flourish. With revenue from digital music streaming expected to double in the coming years, it is important that this bill become law so we can keep up with the changing dynamics of this great American industry,” said Whip Scalise. “Louisiana is the birthplace of jazz, and our rich musical history includes zydeco, gospel, blues, and rock, which have all had a strong influence on American music. This bill will protect those pioneering musicians’ legacies, and ensure current and future artists’ interests and inspiration are fairly represented.”
Louisiana’s music industry leaders are also singing the bill’s praises:
“The passage of the Music Modernization Act is a major step forward in ensuring that songwriters like myself will begin to be fairly compensated for the music we create,” said Kevin Griffin, songwriter, lead singer of Better than Ezra, and LSU alumnus. “This will provide real, tangible benefits that allow songwriters who love their craft to put food on the table. Kudos to Congress for recognizing the value of songwriting in the digital world. Thank you!”
“As a New Orleans-based producer, songwriter and musician, I have experienced the magnitude of changes in the music industry over the past decade, which at times have seemed overwhelming. Many preeminent and hard-working music creators have seen their incomes dwindle. The Music Modernization Act will restore balance and fairness in our business, addressing the copyright and royalty concerns of songwriters, musicians, engineers and producers in the digital age. The bill, which was introduced by bi-partisan legislators, deserves support from all in Congress,” said Scott Billington, three-time GRAMMY winning American roots and blues producer.
“Louisiana has a soulful and thriving music community thanks to the passion and innate talents of its thousands of music creators. With the passage of the Music Modernization Act in the House of Representatives, the spirit of Louisiana will continue to be heard across the country for years to come as creators will be able to receive fair compensation from newer music services and further recognition and protections in copyright law,” said Daryl Friedman, Chief Industry, Member, and Government Relations Officer for the Recording Academy.
“It’s important that those of us who own intellectual property (songs and recordings) be compensated properly for their use based on new technologies and methods of music consumption,” said Mark Samuels, President of Basin Street Records in New Orleans.