President Donald Trump signed the Music Modernization Act (MMA) into law Thursday, officially passing what is arguably the most sweeping reform to copyright law in decades. From a report: The bill revamps Section 115 of the U.S. Copyright Act and aims to bring copyright law up to speed for the streaming era. These are the act’s three main pieces of legislation:
1. The Music Modernization Act, which streamlines the music-licensing process to make it easier for rights holders to get paid when their music is streamed online.
2. The Compensating Legacy Artists for their Songs, Service, & Important Contributions to Society (CLASSICS) Act for pre-1972 recordings.
3. The Allocation for Music Producers (AMP) Act, which improves royalty payouts for producers and engineers from SoundExchange when their recordings are used on satellite and online radio (Notably, this is the first time producers have ever been mentioned in copyright law.).
What does all this mean? First, songwriters and artists will receive royalties on songs recorded before 1972. Second, the MMA will improve how songwriters are paid by streaming services with a single mechanical licensing database overseen by music publishers and songwriters. The cost of creating and maintaining this database will be paid for by digital streaming services. Third, the act will take unclaimed royalties due to music professionals and provide a consistent legal process to receive them. Further reading: Billboard.
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