Music Modernization Act was signed into law today by President Donald Trump, witnessed by a smattering of industry executives and such recordings artists as Kid Rock and John Rich, the president\’s besties. The act, which passed unanimously through the House and Senate, aims to update antiquated US copyright and licensing laws for the streaming era.
After an effort that began years ago and was renewed last year, the compromise legislation, which ultimately took much more compromise than the initial version of the bill anticipated, will present a whole new set of business conditions on the music publishing industry that hopefully will be worth with the reward of higher rates for songwriters and publishers.
\”The Music Modernization Act closes loopholes in our digital royalties laws to ensure that songwriters, artists and producers receive fair payment for licensing of music,\” Trump said just before signing the law. \”I\’ve been reading about this for many years and never thought I\’d be involved in it, but I got involved in it. They were treated very unfairly. They\’re not going to be treated unfairly anymore.\”
Its goal is to simplify the process of licensing music so that rights holders are more fairly compensated when their music is streamed online. It will iron out the most complicated part of the process—figuring out who the rights holders are—by creating a single licensing database called the Mechanical Licensing Collective. The MLC will ensure that payouts end up with the correct artists and labels.
It also includes a piece of legislation called the Allocation for Music Producers Act, which specifically aims to get producers and engineers better royalty payouts from satellite and online radio (it\’s the first time producers have been mentioned in US copyright law).
\”You like this legislation or do you hate it?\” Trump reportedly asked his invited guest Kid Rock during the signing ceremony this afternoon. \”I like it,\” replied Kid Rock.